Abstinence Program on BOE Agenda
The Work & Study Meeting is at 8 p.m. at the Administration Building, 1200 Myrtle Ave.
The board will be asked to approve a contractual agreement between district schools and the Central Jersey Community Development Corporation to conduct the "Teens Abstaining Positioning Self" program based on the "Why Am I Tempted?" or WAIT program. There will be no cost to the district. If moved to the agenda, the matter will be up for a vote on Oct. 20.
This kind of program is not without controversy, as a spin around the interwebs reveals.
The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) has reviewed various abstinence programs. Click here for its review of WAIT training. According to a state-by-state report on funding for such programs, those in New Jersey received $4 million in federal Community Based Abstinence Education funding last year.
According to a 2007 state Department of Health and Senior Services report, adolescent pregnancy has declined, but in 2003, 7,209 teens gave birth, nearly 90 percent outside marriage. Becoming a teen parent has many adverse consequences, the report states, including the likelihood of having another teen birth. The report advocates a shift from dealing with the consequences of teen pregnancy to community education on its prevention.
A search for Central Jersey Community Development Corporation brings up the web site of First Baptist Community Development Corporation. Click here for details of an upcoming event.
If approved, the Teens Abstaining Positioning Self program will be offered at Hubbard and Maxson middle schools, the Barack Obama Academy for Academic and Civic Development and Plainfield High School. It will be conducted in 12 sessions to students in grades 7, 8 and 9.