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NY Post Exclusive: Majority of NYC parents opposed to high schools giving students the morning after pill

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October 21, 2012 by SquarePegDem

According to a poll commissioned by the Chiaroscuro Foundation, more than half of NYC parents polled oppose dispensing Plan B contraceptives to high school students without parental consent.

In an exclusive story today, the NY Post reports

* 52.3 percent of parents with children under 18 say the DOE should not dispense Plan B. Some 42.9 percent approve of the program, which is aimed at preventing unwanted teen pregnancies. Only 4.8 percent are undecided.

* 36.1 percent say the DOE should use an “active opt-in” system — so only students whose parents have given advance permission can obtain the birth-control. Nearly 25 percent approve of the current “opt-out” system.

* The program is most accepted in Manhattan, where just 14.8 percent of residents oppose it. The program is opposed by 51.2 percent of Staten Islanders, 41.8 percent of Queens residents, 40 percent of Brooklynites and 34.8 percent of Bronx residents.

via Majority of NYC parents opposed to high schools giving students the morning after pill: poll – m.NYPOST.com.

“The results are telling,” said Greg Pfundstein, Executive Director of the Chiaroscuro Foundation, “New York parents have strong opinions about their child’s sex education, and the majority of them want something different than what the city is offering them.”

According to the Post, DOE spokeswoman Erin Hughes dismissed the poll results. “We are not going to comment on the merits of a poll commissioned by a group opposed to comprehensive sex education and birth control,” she said.

It does not surprise me that someone in the Bloomberg Administration would be so dismissive of the concerns of parents. The main issue is not school-based sex ed and birth control distribution programs that promote risk reduction but rather the DOE’s policy of  abrogating parental rights in this area of their children’s lives.

NY Post/NYC Department of Health

Last year, the city Education Department quietly launched CATCH — Connecting Adolescents To Comprehensive Health — in five high schools and expanded to nine others without fanfare this fall. Last month, The Post revealed the program.

“I’d rather my child drink big sodas than take those chemical pills.”

So said, Mary Elliot-Saile, the wife of a pastor and the mother of a daughter at Port Richmond HS in Staten Island, one of the CATCH schools. Ms. Elliott-Saile states she never got an opt-out letter before learning about the program in the news.

The DOE is just paying lip service to engaging “parents as partners” when it comes to involving parents in the legitimate effort to reduce teen pregnancy.

Parents need to take action.

NYC parents should ask the 2013 mayoral candidates to take a stand in support of parents’ rights to be involved in the academic and reproductive health of their children.

To find out what you can do to stop CATCH, please visit http://nycparentschoice.org/

The Chiaroscuro Foundation is a member of NYC Parents Choice.

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