FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Majority of NYC parents oppose CATCH; are open to proven abstinence education
New York-- Fifty-three percent of New Yorkers think that Department of Education should not be dispensing Plan B to high school students. A poll commissioned by the Chiaroscuro Foundation and conducted by Smith Johnson Research surveyed 600 New Yorkers on the New York City Department of Education’s controversial CATCH program, and on their opinions of abstinence education. Complete poll results are available at nycparentschoice.org.
“As usual, the Bloomberg administration and the Department of Education think they know better than NYC parents,” said Greg Pfundstein, Executive Director of the Chiaroscuro Foundation, “The DOE should end the CATCH program, which is supported by less than a third of New Yorkers surveyed in its current form. Of course, our expectations for a sensible policy change from DOE are low.”
The Chiaroscuro Foundation released the entire poll including the crosstabs for the sample of 600 and the crosstabs for the oversampled under 55 demographic which had a representative sample of 400. “There should be no question about the soundness of the methodology,” said Pfundstein.
“Not surprisingly, African American and Hispanic parents carry strong opposition to the CATCH program,” said Michael Benjamin, former NY Assemblyman and Executive Director of the Parents’ Choice Coalition.
- 54% of Hispanic respondents believe the DOE should not be distributing Plan B to high school students, and only 27% support the current opt out system.
- African-American opposition to CATCH is also high: 59% oppose distributing Plan B to teenagers. Only 15% of African American respondents support the current opt out system.
Additionally, support for comprehensive Abstinence Education is high, especially among African Americans and Hispanics.
- Nearly 77% of Hispanic respondents would support abstinence education that teaches the facts about contraception while promoting delaying sex as the best choice for teenagers.
- Additionally, over 80% of Hispanic respondents would be supportive of an abstinence education program that taught healthy relationship skills.
- Nearly 83% of African American respondents would support abstinence education that teaches healthy relationship skills.
- And close to 73% of African American respondents would support abstinence education that teaches the facts about contraception while promoting delaying sex as the best choice for teenagers.
Among all parents, more than 75% of respondents would support abstinence education that teaches healthy relationship skills. Close to 71% of respondents would support abstinence education that teaches the facts about contraception while promoting delaying sex as the best choice for teenagers.
“This kind of social experiment has no place in the education of our children,” said State Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr. “NYC parents agree that the DOE is out of bounds on this issue.” Noting that the poll found only 32% of New Yorkers who rated the performance of New York City public schools in academics excellent or good, Diaz said, “The schools should be focused on providing a quality education to our children, not on passing out pills.”
The Chiaroscuro Foundation is a member of the NYC Parents’ Choice Coalition, which opposes the CATCH program and advocates for optional abstinence education in NYC schools.
The questions on abstinence education were taken from a national survey conducted by the National Abstinence Education Foundation, the results of which can be found at http://whattheytoldus.org/. The results of the NYC survey are comparable to the national results.
Complete poll results are available at nycparentschoice.org.