WORCESTER – The simmering battle over sex education policy in the Worcester Public Schools took a highly unusual turn when, because of an apparent miscommunication, Planned Parenthood gave a presentation on the district’s policy to summer youth workers. The presentation contained elements of political advocacy of comprehensive sex ed.
In an email to City Councilors obtained by ThisWeekinWorcester.com, City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. wrote, “I wanted to inform all of you of a situation that happened today as part of our Worcester Youth Development & Professional Leadership Symposium provided to summer youth workers.”
Slides of the presentation [see below] obtained by ThisWeekInWorcester.com show the title of the presentation was “Introduction to Comprehensive Sex Education & the campaign to improve the Sexual Health of Youth.”
The title slide also included the phrase, “Worcester youth deserve comprehensive sex ed.” According to the slide, the presentation was delivered by Joshua Alba, Raiz Organizer, Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund, and Adriana Ojeda, Parent Educator, Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts.
Other slides in the presentation, which carried the city seal, contain a description of comprehensive “sexuality education,” a chart of gonorrhea rates by age, chlamydia rates by age, and Worcester teen birth rates.
In the email to Council Members, Augustus wrote: “Due to a miscommunication, a presentation was given by Planned Parenthood to approximately 15 college-aged students that involved aspects of political advocacy in regard to the sexual education policy of the Worcester Public Schools. When we learned about the content of the presentation, it was immediately removed and discontinued from the overall curriculum.”
In response to a media inquiry, the email reads, the city would issue a statement from Youth Services Division Director Racquel Castro-Corrazzini. The statement, according to the email, reads: “As part of our Worcester Youth Development & Profession Leadership Symposium provided to summer youth workers, a presentation was given today by Planned Parenthood to approximately 15 college-aged students that was overly political in nature. This was a mistake and the result of a miscommunication. The presentation was removed and discontinued from the overall curriculum as soon as we learned about its political advocacy content. The goal of our symposium is to provide training to summer employment participants on topics such as leadership, workforce development, financial literacy, communication, dependability, taking initiative and youth/family development.”
Here are more slides from the Planned Parenthood Presentation:
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