New Jersey's teachers' union canceled three sex education workshops this week that were planned for its annual three-day conference in November after learning that the sessions would be led by two physicians who promote abstinence-only sex education, The [Newark] Star-Ledger reports. The workshops were canceled because abstinence-only education conflicts with the New Jersey Education Association's policy of supporting comprehensive, in-school sex education, including discussing condom use to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Bernadette Vissano, one of the session leaders and the director of the New Jersey Coalition for Abstinence Education, said the move to cancel the workshops amounts to censorship. She also urged teachers to contact the union to protest the cancelation.
Susan Wilson, director of a Rutgers University group asked to organize replacement sessions at the conference, said the attempt to push New Jersey educators toward accepting abstinence-only sex education is reflective of the Bush administration's nationwide push for programs that do not address safer sex. "It's disheartening to see the federal government take a stand like this," she said. "It has nothing to do with good education, but ideology."