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| | |-+  Critics Bring Down 'Wait 'til Marriage' Sex-Ed Program in NY
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« on: December 29, 2004, 02:35:28 PM »

Critics Bring Down 'Wait 'til Marriage' Sex-Ed Program in NY

by Jim Brown
December 29, 2004

(AgapePress) - A New York school district has dumped an abstinence-until-marriage program after a vocal minority claimed it was insensitive to people who don't want to get married or cannot get married legally.

A two-day skit-based presentation called "I'm Worth Waiting For" has been banned from Lansing Middle School. Critics claim the program, sponsored by the Ithaca Pregnancy Center, may offend children from "non-traditional" families. But the Center's executive director, Rhonda Mapes, says the program simply tells students there are consequences to sexual activity outside of marriage.

"When people hear about negative consequences that can occur from their choices, they feel judged -- and I think you and I know that that's called conviction. And there's nothing we can do in a program that's talking about negative consequences to take that away from people -- they're doing that to themselves."

Mapes claims "Christianphobia" prompted the district's decision to discard the program -- but she vows that critics' objections to the Center's Christian affiliation will not deter her from promoting abstinence in other schools.

"What we are going to do is go over our program with a fine-tooth comb -- and I would encourage other programs to do that," she states. "We've never had a problem with any kind of misinformation, but we want to make our program even more glorifying to the Lord and as close to [being] beyond reproach as is humanly possible, understanding that that will not satisfy these people."

According to Mapes, the "I'm Worth Waiting For" program has been used in ten area school districts and has received strong approval from health teachers in those districts. It was allowed into the Lansing Central School District's eighth-grade health program last year.

Responding to parents' confusion about how the issue became heated so quickly, school board president Dan Brown indicated to The Ithaca Journal that re-examination of all aspects of the health curriculum had been in the board's plans for some time, implying that objections to the "I'm Worth Waiting For" program simply brought it to a head.


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