Parents at two elite schools in Manhattan, Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School and The Dalton School, are angry after finding out about inappropriate sexuality education for children. Tuition at Dalton costs $55,210 for grades K-12 in the next school year, while Columbia has K-12 tuition rates ranging up to $55,490 per year.
The New York Post reported that parents at Dalton grew upset when they found their first grade children were given five lessons on “gender identity” and shown a video where cartoon children discussed private body parts with a grownup and how it feels good to touch them.
Such classroom lessons, with both boys and girls involved, break down natural boundaries that most children have about discussing these issues. They also inappropriately teach children about sexual ideas and concepts – such as gender identity, sexual pleasure, and slang words for body parts – that they’re not mentally and emotionally equipped to understand.
The video was produced by the group AMAZE, an organization which offers dozens of free sex education videos online. Its website says, “AMAZE harnesses the power of digital media to provide young adolescents around the globe with medically accurate, age-appropriate, affirming, and honest sex education they can access directly online—regardless of where they live or what school they attend.”
The organization partners with a group called Advocates for Youth, which describes itself as an activist group that fights for youth to have abortion access, LGBTQ rights, access to contraceptives, and “confidentiality in health care” – meaning no parental notification for their children’s medical treatment.
Other AMAZE videos include:
- “Is It Normal To Watch Porn?” (The answer from AMAZE is, “Yes, it’s normal. Lots of people watch porn.”)”
- “How Many Times Can A Person Masturbate In One Day?” (Their answer is, “There is no limit … do it as much as you want. But, if it’s interfering with your schoolwork, or keeping you from friends and family, then, maybe it’s time to slow down.”)
- “Gender Identity: Being Female, Male, Transgender or Genderfluid” (“People who have a gender identity that is not binary, sometimes called gender fluid, gender queer or gender nonconforming, find that their gender identity does not fit into specific categories of male or female, but rather exists along a continuum. But gender identity is not something you can choose or change.”
- Are You Ready To Have Sex? (AMAZE’s answer is: “Others may have an opinion, but only the two people involved can truly answer the question.”)
AMAZE videos have millions of views and its YouTube channel lists over 180,000 subscribers. And with its connection to Advocates for Youth, which produces sex ed curriculum for schools, the videos are seen by students across the country – not just in elite prep schools.
The Post said Dalton parents found out about the sex ed instruction in the fall of 2020 and complained, but school administrators brushed them off and told them that they “misinterpreted” what was being taught.
It was only after The Post broke another story about a “Pornography Literacy” class, taught to Columbia Prep students, that parents again complained to the Dalton administration about the sex ed curriculum.
Both the six- and seven-year-olds at Dalton and the juniors at Columbia Prep were taught by the same instructor, Justine Ang Fonte, the director of Health & Wellness at Dalton.
Columbia students thought they would be attending a health and sexuality workshop, only to find out that Fonte was teaching a course titled, “Pornography Literacy: An intersectional focus on mainstream porn.” The Post acquired the slides from the class and said the students were shown images and instructed about topics like “a list of the most searched pornographic terms of 2019,” “various porn genres,” and a “hot new app used mostly for sex work,” i.e., prostitution.
The news outlet reported that “most of the kids, aged 16 and 17, watched the lesson on Zoom from home – which is what alerted some parents to it – but some were at the school and made to assemble in the gym together to watch it on their laptops.”
Fonte’s consulting website says, “I use she/they pronouns,” and explains, “When I’m building with schools, I develop health programs that are intersectional, anti-racist, sex-positive, multidisciplinary, stigma-busting, and relevant.”
Presentations listed on her website include two classes taught at the April 2021 “White Privilege Conference”: “Her Body: a porn genre or a privilege?” and “Decolonizing Success through an Asian-American Lens.” She also gave a “Middle and High School Lunch and Learn” in Georgia titled, “Celebrating Parts with a Purpose: a closer look at body positivity.”
Fonte stresses “intersectionality,” a Critical Race Theory (CRT) buzzword that refers to a person’s identity being made up of multiple, overlapping identities such as sex, sexual orientation, religion, gender identity, language, ethnicity, and skin color. In CRT, these identities determine where one is oppressed and where one is the oppressor.
This isn’t the first time Dalton has been embroiled in controversy over CRT. Earlier this year, disgruntled parents published an anonymous letter stating, “Every class this year has had an obsessive focus on race and identity, ‘racist cop’ reenactments in science, ‘de-centering whiteness’ in art class, learning about white supremacy and sexuality in health class. Wildly inappropriate, many of these classes feel more akin to a Zoom corporate sensitivity-training than to Dalton’s intellectually engaging curriculum.”
The letter said, “In place of a joyful progressive education, students are exposed to an excessive focus on skin color and sexuality, before they even understand what sex is.” The head of Dalton announced in April that he was leaving the school after 16 years.
As we mentioned, unsuitable sexual education and radical ideologies aren’t confined to elite Manhattan schools – they’re already in schools across the nation. It’s important for parents to stay connected to their children and their schools, to know what’s being taught and to respond appropriately.
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