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Rhode Island retro abstinence program deep-sixed

Your tax dollars at work. The public schools in Rhode Island had in place a Bush-funded abstinence program that, based on this description, was a real winner. It has been yanked.

The article makes me want to call in Justin Wankadoodle from yesterday’s post (‘Motivational speaker’ at school compares girls to meat) to help them out over at winger org Heritage of Rhode Island.

Lawyers at the Rhode Island affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union first complained last year that a now-abandoned textbook used by Heritage of Rhode Island taught students that girls should wear clothing that doesn’t invite “lustful thoughts” from boys. The book described men as “strong” and “courageous” while women were called “caring.”

A speaker on an accompanying videotape said abstinence helped him “honor my relationship with Jesus,” although Heritage officials said the tape wasn’t used in public schools.

“The curriculum had these incredible sexist viewpoints about men and women and boys and girls that seemed to come out of the nineteenth century,” said Steven Brown, executive director of the state’s ACLU.

Heritage of Rhode Island has a three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that provides $400,200 annually, a department spokesman said. The group has presented its curriculum to more than 600 public school students in Providence, Pawtucket and Woonsocket.

Pawtucket’s top school official complained that he was duped by Heritage officials and halted the program even before a parent complained to the ACLU.

“We really don’t promulgate any religious opinion in this school system. I think basically that’s what they were trying to do here,” Pawtucket Schools Superintendent Hans Dellith said.

Hat tip, Raw Story.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding