Education Notebook

Archdiocese Rejects Sex Ed Series

ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Jan. 21—The Archdiocese of Denver rejected the request of Jere Allen, religious education director at St. Thomas More parish in Englewood, to distribute the New Creation sex education program to be used privately by parents.

The Rocky Mountain News noted that St. Thomas More, at 5,300 families, is the largest parish in the archdiocese.

“The archdiocese has described the New Creation series as inappropriate and sexually explicit,” said the report. “‘A small faction at the parish had been promoting New Creation since last summer,’ said Marian Learned, a parent and member of the parish's religious education committee.” Learned is the mother of a seventh-grader.

The report quotes her saying, “The majority of parents don't want New Creation.

College Students in Billboard Abstinence Campaign

COLUMBUS DISPATCH, Jan. 18—Fifty billboards promoting abstinence with pictures of local students are going up in Licking County, Ohio, throughout this year.

The Columbus Dispatch reported that Mary Ann Grady, coordinator of the Responsible Social Values Program, “which educates middle and high school students on the values of abstinence,” is using $15,000 of an $83,00 federal grant to fund the campaign.

Grady recruited 10 students who could be role models to others. They all went on to college after being well-known in Licking County for their academic and athletic success. Three of them are now at Catholic colleges: Mike Klockner attends Holy Cross Junior College, which is related to the University of Notre Dame; Meghan Walsh attends Mount St. Mary's College in Cincinnati; and Amber Fish attends Marquette University in Milwaukee.

The billboards reproduce high school photos of the students stamped with the word “abstinent.” The report quotes Fish saying, “It was a bit odd at first to see my picture on a billboard, but I'm getting used to it. … Young people think that everyone is having sex. But you don't have to do it.”

Grady said she believes the billboards are getting results: “I have kids coming up to me saying, ‘I want to be on a billboard when I'm a senior.’”