Justine Fonte Teacher of Comprehensive Sex ed
As a superhero dedicated to educating & empowering young people around the world, I understand the complexities around the topic of . While that might be a genuine belief, (or a cover story for their own shame, religion, or lack of adequate in their youth,) we can't let outdated ideologies stop us from doing right by the in our lives.. And too often, folks disagree with my mission to share accurate, shame-free . They believe kids are "too young" or "too innocent" to learn about
How does Justine Fonte Teacher defend her methods?
After 9 years of devoting herself to the students of Dalton School in Manhattan, sudden backlash from parents led to a cowardly, anonymous media attack on Fonte's credibility and ultimately resulted in her resignation.
As the director of wellness and at a in Dalton she created the entire curriculum for grades K-12, in addition to being a respected who spoke at forums, hosted workshops, and taught presentations at other schools in New York City. However, when she was invited to teach two zoom sessions on pornography literacy and consent, to juniors and seniors at and , parents complained and sparked online outrage. Her curriculum, taken completely out of context, instigated debates about "teaching masturbation to first graders" even though
a) understanding proper anatomy and function is within the and guidelines from the World Health Organization and
b) this was not what Fonte's course was covering.
Fonte's session covered pornography and consent, two under-discussed topics, especially in public . In fact, a 2013 analysis of research from around the world, suggests that anywhere between 43% to 99% of children have seen porn. Their first exposure often happening at around 10 to 11 years and increases with age. Additionally, only 7 states require consent to be a part of the curriculum.
After learning these statistics, the expectation is that parents would be more likely to support a lesson like Fonte's. Yet as we see, demonstrated from Fonte's recent experience, there are still many parents -- including those of financial influence-- who would prefer to uphold harmful tradition and ideology over the wellbeing of students. If dedicated teachers like Fonte are forced to resign, this robs students of a who cares about their health and an that prepares them for their own development and the realities of modern culture.
As reported to the New York Times, Fonte says her , "equip(s) [ ] with a way that they can exercise body agency and consent, by knowing exactly what those parts are, what they are called, and how to take care of them... That was paired with lessons around, what are the different ways to say 'no'? And what's the difference between a secret and a surprise? And why you should never have a secret between a grown-up and you. Because it's never your responsibility as a child to hold a secret or information of a grown-up."
I can identify a superhero when I see one. Fonte is highly qualified and equally passionate about protecting children, preparing them for the realities of this world, and giving them the tools they need to develop a healthy .
When parents immediately feel outraged, without digging deeper to understand the long-proven benefits of harm kids , they can inadvertently by preventing them from receiving the vital they need!