Sex Education Curriculum Promotes Self-Destructive Behavior, Worcester School Committee Member Says

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Will the Rights, Respect and Responsibility sex education curriculum be used in Worcester Public Schools next school year?

The Worcester School Committee plans to vote on that proposal later this week, at its meeting scheduled for Thursday, May 6.

A subcommittee of the school committee voted 2-1 last week to recommend implementing the curriculum for grades 7, 8, and 9 as part of a kindergarten-through-grade-12 health program. Some observers in Worcester have called for implementing sex education lesson plans as early as kindergarten, but that isn’t on the school committee’s agenda this week.

Of the seven members of the Worcester School Committee, including Mayor Joseph Petty, only one responded to NewBostonPost’s request for comment on the curriculum on Sunday. It was John Monfredo, who opposes the proposal.

Supporters say children need the information the curriculum provides to avoid pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and abuse. They also tout what they call its inclusivity, because it presents information about homosexuality and transgenderism and affirms them.

Critics have said that the curriculum promotes unhealthy behavior and is not age-appropriate, and that it would hurt adolescents.

Monfredo opposes the sex education curriculum, which is known as “the 3 Rs.” He voted against it during the subcommittee meeting Monday, April 26. He explained why to NewBostonPost in an email message on Sunday, May 2 (boldface in original):


I DO NOT support the 3 R’s curriculum.  I have suggested that our health teachers, who have done extensive research and know the students, put together a program that will meet the needs of ALL students and know what is age appropriate.  They know what the students need and what material is needed.

The 3 R’s, in my opinion, does not fall into the catalog of being age appropriate and medically accurate.  This program is grossly inappropriate for it’s more of a sex manual.  There is no mention of the psychological and emotional impact of sexual activity.  One of the most dangerous aspects of this curriculum is the way it normalizes pornography use by describing it as a normal.

In addition, let’s look at the fidelity of the program in which some want the school to follow … gr. 7 (age 12) lesson 8 – Your boyfriend or girlfriend says, “I really want to know what it feels like, don’t you?  What if we do it just once to see what it feels like and then we don’t have do it again if we don’t want to.”  Yes, this is in the grade 7 portion of the curriculum.   

Grade 8 lesson 8 … “Condoms can help make sex last longer.” Is this age appropriate?

(Grade 9) “Step 1: Teacher’s manual –  Walk into the room, hold up the wooden penis model or banana and condom you will be using in a moment and announce, ‘Today’s the day!’”  Is this promoting sex?  I can go on but I’m sure you get the picture.

Remember, independent research, (Re-Examining the Evidence for Comprehensive Sex Education Schools by Weed and Ericksen) indicates that comprehensive sex ed programs have shown far more evidence of failure than success and has produced a concerning number of negative outcomes and the 3 R’s is a comprehensive model. In fact, a closer look at evaluations of these programs showed no significant reductions in teen pregnancy, risky sexual behavior, incidence of STDs, or increased condom use, one year after the program. This is NOT the kind of “evidence-informed” program we want for Worcester youth. CSE has not been an effective public health strategy in schools.

I am proposing that the district continue to review curriculum and support a  program which will provide the information, skills and support needed for children to avoid the risks of sexual activity.  Again, I would implore our health teachers to do the research and come up with such a program.  As for my colleagues support this, why would they??


NewBostonPost confirmed that each example Monfredo listed in his email message is part of the Rights, Respect, Responsibility sex education curriculum. NewBostonPost has published excerpts from the curriculum here.

This story will be updated if other members of the Worcester School Committee provide comment.


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