Comprehensive Sex Education Curriculum Approved By Worcester School Committee

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The Worcester School Committee approved a so-called comprehensive sex education curriculum Thursday night.

The committee voted 5-2 to approve Rights, Respect, Responsibility, a sex education program produced by Advocates for Youth.

The vote occurred at about 9:23 p.m. Thursday, May 6.

Fifty-two people addressed the school committee during public comment over the course of a little more than two hours before the vote. Thirty supported the sex curriculum. Twenty-one opposed. One said she was neither for nor against.

Supporters of the sex education curriculum say it gives students information they need to prevent abuse and protect themselves from pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease. They also praise its inclusion of homosexual and transgender relationships and sexuality.

Opponents say the curriculum degrades human sexuality and sexualizes young children. They say it promotes early sexual activity, harmful practices, pornography, and abortion. They also say it violates the rights of parents to teach their children about sex in their own way.

Voting Yes:  Mayor Joseph Petty, the chairman of the school committee; and members Molly McCullough, John Foley, Tracy O’Connell Novick, and Laura Clancey.

Voting No:  school committee members John Monfredo and Dianna Biancheria.

The sex education curriculum may be a campaign issue this fall.

Six seats on the Worcester School Committee are available in the city elections in September and November 2021. The mayor is the chairman of the committee and fills a seventh seat.

The city’s preliminary election is scheduled for September 14. The municipal election is scheduled for November 2.

Ten candidates have taken out nomination papers to run for the six available seats.


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