Worcester School Committee Candidate Argues Against District’s Graphic Sex Education Curriculum

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2021/10/15/worcester-school-committee-candidate-argues-against-districts-graphic-sex-education-curriculum/

Should Worcester Public Schools keep its current sex-ed curriculum in place?

Shanel Soucy, a candidate for school committee, explained why she doesn’t support the current curriculum during a debate on Wednesday night.

The city voted 5-2 last May to implement a curriculum called Rights, Respect, Responsibility, a sex education program produced by Advocates for Youth.

Soucy was outspoken against it at the time, and she hasn’t changed her mind on the matter.

“I want to first start off by saying I am not against sex ed,” Soucy said during the debate Wednesday, October 13. “I am, however, against the current three R’s curriculum that was passed here in Worcester and any curriculum like it.”

“What’s most concerning is the continued agenda to confuse and discourage parents who would like to opt-out, giving them access an online form with a deadline for September 10 and taking it down, calling parents ignorant for spreading awareness and a lack of transparency and communication from the school administration to make it hard for parents to opt-out is unacceptable,” she added. “Parents are still the most important people in a child’s life.”

Other candidates in the forum expressed support for the city’s new sex education curriculum, including current school committee members Laura Clancey and Molly McCullough.

Clancey argued the explicit new curriculum could prevent sex trafficking.

“If this can prevent one student from becoming a victim, then I’m all for it and we’ve done our job,” Clancy said.

McCullough said she thinks the curriculum offers good material, and she said that if parents don’t want it for their kid, the school district isn’t forcing it on them.

“I agree that we should always discuss the curriculum and get feedback from students and parents,” McCullough said. “I support every parent’s right to opt-out if it’s not right for their child, but I truly believe that this curriculum is something that our students need, that it is inclusive, that it is medically accurate, it is not pornographic. You may disagree with parts of it, and you can opt-out, that is fine, opt out if you choose, but go to the Worcester Public Schools web site and read the actual curriculum that is being used in Worcester before you make the decision.”

Soucy was given 30 seconds for a rebuttal following McCullough’s statement.

Soucy took issue with the promotion of pornography in the curriculum.

“Sex is a very vast and wide place and in today’s world children have access to seeing all kinds of things on the Internet. As adults and teachers, leaders, caregivers, it’s our job to give them guidance, build them up, teach them they’re valuable and their lives are valuable. Watching pornography and masturbation, healthy porn for stress relief and a culture of pornography addiction is at an all-time high exploitation is happening all over the Internet, in our communities where people are hooked on sex.”

“Where do we stop? What’s the limit?” she added.



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