By Michael Benjamin
In the past week, we have discovered that we are not alone in our fight here in New York City. When we started NYC Parents Choice, we had no idea of the faint echoes reverberating around the state. Communities across our state are rising up against so-called “comprehensive” sex education classes that disparage abstinence and encourage teen sexual involvement.
One mother in Clifton Park, NY told us of a teenager who was ridiculed by a guest Planned Parenthood lecturer standing up for abstinence. The PP representative said that the teen was living in the “dinosaur age.” He said that abstinence takes many acceptable forms including, “dry humping,” “anal and oral sex.”
When the parent sought to get answers about her daughter’s mistreatment in the health class, she was rudely dismissed by the health ed teacher. This mother took her subsequent complaints about the nature of the comprehensive sex education class to the school board. The school board denied her request to discuss the curriculum in an open, public meeting.
In Rochester, NY, the Rochester City School Board plans to implement a comprehensive sex education program to deal with rising rates of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. Parents there are organizing to oppose this decision and to demand that school officials to offer abstinence-centered education instead.
We will offer our support and guidance to parents in these two communities and beyond in their battle to bring parental choice in sex education curriculum. Community values should have a bearing on what sex education materials are introduced in our public schools.
As you know, we don't oppose teaching sex education. NYC Parents’ Choice wants the City Education Department to give parents the choice of an "opt-in" abstinence-based sex ed curriculum.