Sex in DC Public Schools is OK, but not Teaching Abstinence
We held an Urban Life Training Leadership Club meeting at Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, DC, as we do on Wednesdays three times each month. One student told me that recent incidents of Ellington students having sex during the school day give greater impetus to our desire to help youth make the best choice for their future; abstinence from sex before marriage. Students also told me that sex is a normal part of what happens in all DC Public High Schools, and even in Middle School.
The incidents of students having sexual intercourse during school hours (which I assume is not an approved use of classroom time) at Duke Elllington School of the Arts is very concerning. It would seem to be a no-brainer that having aprogram such as Urban Life Training that encourages studetns to develop good character would be welcome. But that is not the case. One teacher, in November objected to our staff and youth peer counselors teaching DCPS reviewed Relationship Intelligence presentations in classrooms of teachers desiring of such presentations. The former Head of School, Father John Payne, had approved the presentations. Unfortunately, Father Payne died suddenly of a heart attach in October of 2014. Subsequently, one teacher took it upon herself to block the presentations. She complained to the new Academic Dean (as she also had done at the end of last year to the old Academic Dean). The new Academic Dean told us to stop the presentations, which have been given to more than 3000 DC public school students over the years. the expressed reason is that our presenations are an inappropriate use of classroom time.
Ironically, just at the moment when we were to meet with the Academic Dean, a parent arrived who had been involved in an incident at the school that involved inappropriate behavior by their child.
She said in a subsequent meeting that the new Administration at Duke Ellington wanted to review our program. Months later we did meet with the new Principal, but we still are not able to give any classroom presentations. Scheduled Peer Counseling presentations by our Duke Ellington Peer Counselors were also cancelled after a group of self-described "feminist" students complained that the posters put up by Duke Ellington Urban Life Training STAR Leadership Club members to promote Abstinence Awareness Week were offensive to those who had been sexually abused. See the posters here.
So, the very program that could assist youth in achieving success and that could improve the atmosphere at the school is blocked by one teacher, and the students that could benefit do suffer the consequences of this unrighteous action by one teacher and subsequent caving in of the new administration to the teacher's bullying.
If you are an Ellington Parent, please contact the school and let the Principal, Desepe de Vargas know that you want your child to receive the benefit of Relationship Intelligence education. Also, contact your DC Council representatives and Advisory Neighborhood Council Representatives and let them know that you want true abstinence-centered education that emphasizes the benefits of sexual abstinence offered at your child's middle or high school.