Warwick Board: abstinence speaker welcome

By on October 21, 2014

Warwick School district officials expected some controversy when the school board chose to invite Pam Stenzel to speak to middle and high school students on the virtues of sexual abstinence.

Pan Stenzel

Pan Stenzel

And as expected, residents on both sides of the issue spoke passionately at Tuesday nights Warwick School Board meeting.

Opponents, who believe Stenzel’s message is hate-filled and fear-based, feel the board has refused to hear their voice.

Stenzel’s supporters, who feel the message has been misrepresented by the media, believe this is a vital message for young people living in a dangerous world

Superintendent April Hershey said the decision to bring Stenzel, was based on a “variety of data sources,” parental concerns, the pervasiveness of sexting, fears of sexually transmitted diseases and concerns about teen pregnancies.

The reality is it’s difficult “to find someone who speaks on both sides. Speakers either promote abstinence or planned parenthood,” Hershey said. “We knew it would be controversial from the word go, but we’re not at all questioning our decision.”

Social media lit up after an LNP editorial condemned Warwick for paying Stenzel  $3,500 plus expenses from tax-payer funds. But Hershey said speakers are typically paid from the district’s  general funds when the guest’s expertise is tied into school curriculum.

In this case, Stenzel’s message is linked to the health and sex education curriculum, which  “provides a comprehensive evidence-based sexual education program, which extends far beyond just abstinence,” Hershey said.

See the full story in Wednesday’s Lititz Record Express.




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