Former Teen Mom of Color Takes On Sex Education Curriculums in Worcester

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Editor’s Note:  A mother in Worcester, Massachusetts addressed school officials about two sex education curriculums under consideration for use in the city’s public schools on Monday, April 26, 2021.

Her comments were addressed to the Worcester School Committee’s Standing Committee on Teaching, Learning, and Student Supports, which consists of three members of the school committee, which is the elected board that sets policy for the city’s public schools.

She spoke for 2 minutes 46 seconds. An audio recording of what she said is below, followed by a transcript, in this font. Beneath that is information taken from one of the sex education curriculums.


My name is Shanel Soucy. I’m a Worcester resident, lifelong.

I’m a minority, and I was raised in poverty, in a single-parent home. I was also a teen mom at the age of 14. I’ve raised one son, and I’m currently raising two more in a single-parent home, both of which are Worcester public school students.

I’m here to say that I am strongly opposed to both comprehensive sex ed curriculums being proposed.

As a minority, I am fully aware of the deep disparities that lie within our culture, disparities that we as a country are just now beginning to come to terms with.

I can tell you as a teen mom that it was not the lack of sex education that caused me to get pregnant at 14. It was the disparities within my culture. Growing up in poverty, chaos, dysfunction, and without a father left me in a place of brokenness and uncertainty in who I was, and I began looking for love in all the wrong places.

Statistically, we as minorities have the highest numbers of STDs and teen pregnancy. Statistics show a direct connection to single-parent homes, and a breakdown of the family unit – which minorities also have the highest statistical rate.

We are all aware of the differences that exist in children raised in a two-parent household.

I have read through some of the content of both sex ed curriculums being presented, and all I find is content that will continue to encourage the breakdown of the family unit amongst minorities and families in general.

What I have read is completely age-inappropriate, at times explicit, with a nonchalant attitude toward sex. There is no reason a second-grader needs to know that her vagina can stretch to fit a penis. And any curriculum that even wants to insinuate that is inappropriate.

Much of the language normalizes child sex, and even encourages it. While I find that shame and condemnation is not the right approach, the complete opposite is equally as dangerous for children. And especially in cultures where disparities already exist surrounding around the very nature of sex.

I’m completely discouraged that I cannot easily find or read the entire content of these curriculums, but that we are ready to begin implementing them to our children.

Minority children make up the majority of Worcester public schools. However, I find many are completely unaware – many of the parents of these minority children are completely unaware of what is even going on with this topic.

Finding literature and information is like a scavenger hunt. With all the info that is sent home, I cannot say I have received anything on this topic.

Where is our involvement as parents for such an important and controversial topic? Where is the transparency?

This proposed sex ed curriculum will fail our minority communities, and all children. It does not address underlying conditions, and in fact will further exploit them.

I’m asking the school committee to reject both of these curriculums.

Thank you for your time.


Editor’s Note:  At the end of the subcommittee meeting on Monday, April 26, members voted 2-1 to recommend a sex education curriculum called Rights, Respect, Responsibility, published by Advocates for Youth, headquartered in Washington D.C., to the full seven-member Worcester School Committee, which plans to vote on it Thursday, May 6.

School officials say they want to use the curriculum in grades 7, 8, and 9 as part of the school district’s instruction in health. Some speakers during the subcommittee meeting last week called for using the entire kindergarten-through-12th-grade sex education curriculum.

Lesson plans for kindergarten through second grade in Rights, Respect, Responsibility include the following passage on page 11:



The vagina is the canal leading from the vulva to the uterus. The average vaginal canal is three to five inches long, and resembles a flattened tube with its walls touching each other. The vagina has great elasticity, and can adjust to the size of a penis or allow a fully developed fetus pass from the uterus out of the body.


Here’s a screenshot of the passage:


At the top of page 11 is an advisory:

Note:  It is up to each teacher to determine the amount and detail of information to share with their students in ways that are age appropriate. This sheet is for the teacher’s use only, and is not to be distributed to students.


Here’s a screenshot of that:


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