Opponents of Proposed Sex-Ed Curriculum Planning A March Wednesday in Worcester

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2021/05/04/opponents-of-proposed-sex-ed-curriculum-planning-a-march-wednesday-in-worcester/

Opponents of a proposed sex education curriculum in Worcester are planning to hold a march against it early Wednesday morning — a day before the city’s school committee votes on whether to adopt it.

The curriculum, called Rights, Responsibility, Respect and published by an organization called Advocates for Youth, could make its way to the Worcester Public Schools next school year.

The march is scheduled to begin at 7 a.m. Wednesday, May 5 at Elm Park in Worcester.

Supporters of the curriculum say kids need the information in it to make good choices and prevent abuse. Opponents say the curriculum degrades human sexuality and promotes harmful and self-destructive behavior.

Some critics don’t think the content in the curriculum is age-appropriate. Some also say that parents should be the ones teaching children this content — not public school employees.

The curriculum has drawn heavy interest in Worcester, where people on both sides addressed a subcommittee of the full seven-member school committee for more than two hours on Monday, April 26.

Jason DaSilva, one of the organizers of the march scheduled for tomorrow, said the curriculum is unpopular.

“The community is against,” DaSilva said in a telephone interview late Tuesday morning when speaking about the sex-ed curriculum. “The people in charge, they are hiding. If they do an open discussion and they invite the parents, they don’t want to do that because they know they could get in trouble. 

“If we can talk on Thursday, I will challenge the school committee and the mayor to come out with me and show the curriculum to the people to see what they think,” he added. “He can come for a walk like I did from 9:30 in the morning to 5 p.m. to let the parents know.”

Thursday, May 6 is the day that the curriculum is set to come up for a vote in front of the Worcester School Committee.

DaSilva homeschools his four sons, so it doesn’t directly concern his family. But he said he is taking an interest in the topic in part because he owns a barber shop in Worcester and his customers have kids in public schools. He said that the people he has spoken with there oppose the curriculum.

He also said he spent hours on the streets of Worcester on Monday handing out fliers in opposition to the curriculum. He said he handed out about 650 fliers — and that of the people he gave them out to who commented on it, only one opposed what he was doing; he said it was a public school employee.

“The parents are against them,” he said. “They want the kids learning math science, history, civics, no-nonsense.”

“As a parent, we have to feel for our friends and family in Worcester,” he added. “If we don’t do something now, the next generation will be completely lost.”

Another organizer of the event, Karina Roman-Wallace, told NewBostonPost that she has two children in Worcester Public Schools:  a nine-year-old and a 15-year-old. She said she feels as though the politicians in Worcester won’t be representing the people if they pass this curriculum.

“I was at last week’s meeting and I saw that most percent of the people opposed and they still went forward with it, so I was angry,” she said.”My opinion is that parents should teach that to the kids, not the schools.” 

Roman-Wallace is no stranger to political organizing. She told NewBostonPost she has organized immigrants’ rights and Black Lives Matter demonstrations in the city in the past, among other causes.

She said while the people who know about the curriculum oppose it, that the problem also lies there:  a lot of people don’t know about it.

“I hope that our march opens the hearts of the mayors, the school committee, and the other parents,” she said.

More information on the scheduled march is available on Facebook at: