|Back to November Ed Reporter|
|NUMBER 202||THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS||NOVEMBER 2002|
New Jersey Education Association|
Censors Abstinence Message
TRENTON, NJ - The New Jersey Education Association's (NJEA) annual three-day conference beginning Nov. 7 in Atlantic City won't include three abstinence-education workshops. The New Jersey Star-Ledger reported (10-16-02) that the union canceled the workshops after discovering that an educator and two medical doctors who favor abstinence-only sex education for youth would be conducting the sessions.
One of the scheduled presenters, New Jersey Coalition for Abstinence Education Director Bernadette Vissani, charged the union with censorship, stating: "We are considered experts in the field of abstinence education, and I think we have something to say." She explained that, while she and the other presenters personally favor abstinence-only sex education for students, they were planning to discuss the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases and present tips for remaining abstinent.
Scheduled to speak along with Vissani were Joanna Mohn, an internist and member of the New Jersey Physicians Resource Council, and retired physician James Thompson, a member of the New Jersey Advisory Council on Adolescent Pregnancy.
Replacement workshops will be given by members of the Network for Family Life Education at Rutgers University, which trains teachers in "comprehensive" sex education.