Edmonton Public Schools is defending its decision to allow advocacy groups to give sex education presentations, though the policy is under review.

At a school board meeting this week, University of Alberta gender studies professor Cristina Stasia questioned whether outside agencies should be coming into schools to teach children.

She suggested the Edmonton Pregnancy Care Centre, which promotes abstinence, provides a limited view on sexual behaviour.

Kathy Dawson

Kathy Dawson is circulating a petition to have the board change its sex education policy (CBC)

"It's not about targeting one specific organization – it's about ensuring all information students receive is research-based and medically accurate," she said.

Parent Kathy Dawson is circulating a petition to have the public school board change its policy about sex education.

She attended her daughter's Career and Life Management class last year when a presenter from the pregnancy care centre gave what she calls inaccurate information.

"They portrayed it like the more people you have sex with, the less you can bond," she said. "Condoms ... were portrayed as not being tested."

Spokesperson for the centre, Norah Kennedy, denied that was part of the material.

Edmonton Public School District spokesperson Jane Sterling says that presentation provides only one of a wide spectrum of views given to students and is in keeping with board policy.

"Such study provides opportunities to develop the ability to think clearly, to reason logically, to open-mindedly and respectfully examine different points of view," she said. "It's all balanced by other speakers and by the teacher."

The public school board is currently reviewing all of its policies, including the 20-year-old policy that governs sex education.

"Of course times are tight and resources lean, and I imagine that may have been part of some of the decision in the past, but I think it's absolutely critical that we have policies that are up to date and reviewed regularly," said board chair Sarah Hoffman.

The latest draft of the sex education policy is expected to go to the board next month following public scrutiny.

With files from CBC's James Hees