This is an edited version of a statement by the Western Cape branch of the SA Principals' Association that appeared in court papers and was supported and signed by 30 school principals.
"Though we would not wish any child to be convicted of a criminal offence except as an absolute last resort, we believe that it is essential to have the deterrent of the criminal law to protect children from psychologically harming themselves, and from the risk of pregnancy, HIV and sexually transmitted diseases.
"Our expertise and experience of many years as educators lead us to say that it would make our already difficult task of dissuading children from early sex very much more difficult if the law were to be ameliorated. This proposed change would send out a message that sex is okay for children and that there are no consequences.
"Principals at schools that serve poor communities are facing an increased number of teen pregnancies and cases of abuse. Making sex with a child legal will only make this worse as older children pressure young girls for sex.
"Sex should be an activity that is put off for later rather than earlier."
Among the supporters of this resolution are the principals of Rustenburg Girls High School, Camps Bay High School and Wynberg Boys High School