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New York Times Defends Masturbation Classes for 6-Year-Olds

The New York Times defiende a profesora que usó «material escolar de masturbación» en una clase de primer grado

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The last few weeks at the Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School and the prestigious Dalton School have been a subject of national attention. On May 22nd, the right-leaning New York Post published an article entitled “Columbia Prep students and parents reel after class on ‘porn literacy’” without their consent.

According to the Post, Justine Ang Fonte, a long-time sex education teacher, was commissioned to give a workshop for students between the ages of 16-17 on sex education. The teacher’s work was presented in slides and was titled: “Pornography Literacy: An Intersectional Approach to Mainstream Porn.”

“The often-explicit slide presentation and lecture by Fonte to the 120 boys and girls included lessons on how porn takes care of ‘three big male vulnerabilities’; statistics on the ‘orgasm gap’ showing straight women have far fewer orgasms with their partners than gay men or women; and photos of partially-nude women, some in bondage, to analyze ‘what is porn and what is art.'”

Part of the New York Post article written by journalist Dana Kennedy.

This method of study by Professor Fonte starts “from the social theory ‘intersectionality,’ a component of critical race theory,” the Post explained.

The presentation included what the most searched porn terms were in 2019. “Creampie,” “anal,” “gangbang” and “stepmom” were some of the words most requested by users.

“One slide cited various porn genres such as ‘incest-themed,’ consensual or ‘vanilla,’ ‘barely legal,’ and ‘kink and BDSM’ (which included ‘waterboard electro’ torture porn as an example),” read Kennedy’s article.

After the class, which was conducted via zoom, several of the parents and students spoke to the Post and anonymously explained their discomfort and disbelief at attending such a workshop, with such content, unannounced.

Students at the school criticized the material as inappropriate, irrelevant to their knowledge of sexuality, and taking time away from preparation for more important subjects. Likewise, parents questioned the radical turn Columbia Grammar School is taking to teach boys about issues related to critical race theory.

The parents asked for meetings and explanations from the school, in the end, after the Post story was published, “Columbia’s head of school, Dr. William M. Donohue, sent a conciliatory email to the school’s parents saying that the “content and tone of the presentation did not represent our philosophy, which is to educate our students in ways that promote their personal development and overall health, as well as to express respect for them as individuals.”

Masturbation and gender indoctrination

Last May 29, a week after the first published story about the controversial workshop at Columbia Grammar, Dana Kennedy published another article titled “Dalton parents enraged over ‘masturbation’ videos for first graders.”

That article explains that teacher Justine Ang Fonte, at Dalton School, taught six-year-olds material on masturbation.

“Last fall, parents at the posh, $55,000-per-year Dalton School got wind of their first-graders being taught sex education lessons that included masturbation,” that exclusive reads.

“They complained to school administrators, but were told they had simply ‘misinterpreted’ what Dalton’s now-notorious ‘health and wellness’ educator Justine Ang Fonte.”

The controversial video referred to by the Post is about an animation in which an adult woman explains to children that touching their private parts produces pleasure.

“Hey, how come sometimes my penis gets big sometimes and points in the air?” asks one of the children in the cartoon to the adult, who replies: “That’s an erection.” Then the boy replies: “Sometimes I touch my penis because it feels good.”

“Hey, how come sometimes my penis gets big sometimes and points in the air?” asks one of the children in the cartoon to the adult, who replies: “That’s an erection.” Then the boy replies: “Sometimes I touch my penis because it feels good.”

The animated masturbation material was not the only one criticized by Dalton’s parents, because, as reported by the Post, Fonte also has within its curriculum for first graders topics “such as gender assigned at birth, gender identity and gender expression.”

Parents denounced this material as child indoctrination. Some, moreover, also criticized that one of the materials on “consent” could be taken a bit to the extreme. “Literally parents are supposed to say to their kids, May I hug you?” one parent asked.

“I’m paying $50,000 to these a-holes to tell my kid not to let her grandfather hug her when he sees her?” said someone else.

Meanwhile, one of the moms was also quite harsh against teacher Fonte and further suggested that it is hypocritical of her class on consent when she herself did not show or consult parents her first-grade materials.

“Kids have no less than five classes on gender identity — this is pure indoctrination (…) This person should absolutely not be teaching children. Ironically, she teaches kids about ‘consent’ yet she has never gotten consent from parents about the sexually explicit, and age-inappropriate material about transgender to first-graders.”

The New York Times in defense of Justine Ang Fonte’s materials

The controversy did not end with Kennedy’s two reports for the Post. On July 7, 2021, Valeriya Safronova, a reporter for the Style section of the New York Times, wrote an article titled, “A Private School Sex Educator Defends Her Methods.”

In the article, the Times victimizes teacher Justine Ang Fonte from “conservative media persecution,” from parents concerned about their children and defends the methods used by the teacher in her classes.

After presenting a mini-profile of Fonte, highlighting her background as a teacher and the classes she teaches, the Times proceeded to justify the teacher’s materials by explaining that current organizations and sex education teachers are developing their classes that way.

“Multiple sex educators interviewed for this article said there was nothing inappropriate about her classes there or at Columbia. All of it was in line with current National Sex Education Standards and the World Health Organization’s International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education,” the Times reads.

“The national standards are also used in public schools in New York City, where students in grades 6 through 12 take lessons on sexuality as part of their health education. Parents can opt out of certain aspects of the program.”

However, Safronova’s article ignores the arguments and complaints from parents, who are taking a dim view of the explicit material provided to their children.

What the Times does do is, however, explain the content of the masturbation video for first graders.

“The material for her first-grade class never used the term masturbation,” Ms. Fonte said recently. “The lesson was about private parts being private and included a cartoon in which two characters use anatomically correct names for their genitals and say that sometimes it feels good to touch them. ‘It’s OK to touch yourself and see how different body parts feel, but it’s best to only do it in private,’ the narrator tells viewers.”

new york times
Screenshot of material on masturbation taught to first graders (YouTube capture).

“I equip them 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.”

All the experts consulted by the Times defended Professor Fonte, but in the same medium they admitted that her methods are not at all conventional despite the fact that “many sex educators support them.”

Professor Fonte publicly thanked the Times reporter for the article, “I am honored that @vsaffron amplified my @NYTimes story.”

Several users on Twitter criticized the Times article. Noah Pollak, who identifies himself as a Washington Free Beacon contributor on Twitter, alluded to the dystopian worlds that writer George Orwell “predicted” several decades earlier: “Orwell would be proud of this tweet. She was teaching masturbation to first graders.”

This way of teaching children sex education, through intersectionality, gender identification and even pornography or explicit masturbation material, is part “of an orthodoxy that has taken over schools across the country,” a spokesperson for FAIR, the Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism, told the New York Post.

According to this spokesperson “Millions of kids are being experimented on with a new curriculum that racializes and sexualizes young children, labels them by traits like skin color, gender or sexual orientation, and tells them the paths of their lives are determined by those traits.”

Many parents around the country, not just in New York, are objecting to such materials based on gender ideology, critical race theory or child sexualization. For example, in February of this year, many parents in Utah protested against “trans literature” and succeeded in getting the Murray school district to suspend its equity book packages.

Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón is a journalist at El American specializing in the areas of American politics and media analysis // Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón es periodista de El American especializado en las áreas de política americana y análisis de medios de comunicación.

Contacto: [email protected]

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