PARENTS PROTEST: Frustrated Parents Turn to Grassroots ‘Sex Ed Sit Out’ This Monday, April 23rd

Report by Paula Antolini
April 16, 2018 11:01PM EDT

PARENTS PROTEST: Frustrated Parents Turn to Grassroots ‘Sex Ed Sit Out’ This Monday, April 23rd

Parents: Are You ‘Opting-Out’ your child from the Bethel ‘Sexual Abuse Prevention and Awareness Program’ taught to high school seniors this Monday, April 23rd?

SEX ED SIT OUT: Planned for next Monday (Click here for more info.)

Connecticut State Department of Education: Statewide K-12 Sexual Assault & Abuse Prevention & Awareness Program Guidelines (Click here for more info.)

VIDEO: Parents Push ‘Sex Ed Sit Out’ to Stop Graphic Sex-Ed Curricula in Public Schools (Click here for more info.)

SIGN THE PETITION: Can’t attend an event on April 23rd? Sign the Petition and let your voice be heard. (Click here for more info.)

WHAT IS SEX ED SIT OUT: Click here … A grassroots movement of frustrated public school parents is turning their frustration into action. (Click here for more info.)

SEX ED SIT OUT Facebook: (Click here for more info.)




Regarding info. below:

We spoke to Bethel High School Assistant Principal Ms. Lerz via phone and she had no additional printed information on these classes and referred us to Ann Rodwell-Lawton, the Director of Education, Training, and Outreach at the Women’s Center.

We spoke to Ms. Rodwell-Lawton via phone and she is willing to meet with us, but was hesitant on giving us a copy of the Power Point presentation, saying there were “copyright concerns” or they were concerned someone would then teach their own class. They also had no other printed literature on these classes. We have an appointment to speak with her in person. Please check back this weekend as we will be posting an update.

We were told by Ms.Lerz that you can Opt-out your child from the Bethel class as late as Monday morning, with a note to Ms.Lerz.

Click here for “Sample SEX ED SIT OUT letter to your principal”



Women’s Center Presentations Grades 9-12

The Women’s Center of Greater Danbury has been working with students in the Bethel Public School system for many years providing educational programs on a wide variety of programs including healthy relationships, sexual harassment, and online safety. Bethel High School is expanding its partnership with the Women’s Center in order to meet a statewide mandate requiring sexual abuse prevention and awareness programs in grades 9-12.

Effective October 1, 2016, all local and regional school districts in Connecticut are required to implement sexual assault awareness and prevention programs in grades kindergarten through twelve, as per Section 17a-101q of the Connecticut General Statutes. The Department of Children and Families (DCF), in collaboration with the Connecticut State Department of Education (SDE) and Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence, have developed a framework as well as performance indicators for these programs.

The Women’s Center is a member agency of the Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence and has been providing services to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence in the Greater Danbury area since 1975. The Women’s Center has offered sexual assault prevention and awareness programs in community schools for over twenty years.

Bethel High School is partnering with the Women’s Center and their education team to provide educational programs to students that align with the guidelines set forth in the state-wide framework. Through this partnership, Bethel High School will be in compliance with this new mandate.

Please see below the programs that will be offered in each grade level:

9th Grade via Health classes:

Healthy Relationships & Dating Violence
In the United States, 1 in 3 teens is a victim of sexual, emotional, verbal or physical abuse by a dating partner. This program analyzes the root cause of this issue, power and control, and sheds light on unhealthy relationship dynamics. Students will learn to identify “red flag” behaviors and where to seek help for themselves or a friend.

This program on cybersafety teaches students about online dangers such as bullying, online strangers, sexting, geotagging, etc., as well as what they can do to stop these behaviors and protect themselves. This workshop helps students understand what sexting is, why it happens, and the legal, social, and emotional consequences associated with it.

10th Grade via Science classes (Sept 26th & 28th):

Got Consent? Addressing Sexual Assault
This program helps students understand sexual assault by explaining specific laws, statistics, and debunking myths about perpetrators and victims. Our interactive clicker technology allows teens to anonymously input answers for all to see, creating a meaningful and profound discussion. Through activities and conversation, students learn what consent is and when it can and cannot legally be given. Students will learn of the options and resources available in the aftermath of an assault.

11th Grade via Social Studies classes (November 28th & 29th):

Flirting or Hurting? Addressing Sexual Harassment
This program about sexual harassment focuses mainly on understanding and communicating personal boundaries. Students identify the difference between flirtatious behaviors and sexual harassment, along with the continuum of harmful acts that can constitute sexual harassment. Students learn laws and consequences associated with harassment.

12th Grade via English classes (April 24th & 25th):

Know Before You Go
This program is for students in 12th grade and explores campus sexual assault and the importance of consent. Analyzing campus culture and social norms, students will learn to identify behaviors, attitudes, and customs which lay the groundwork for sexual violence to flourish.

The second half of this program will focus on empowering students to be “upstanders” in potentially harmful situations. Attendees will gain tools that will allow them to intervene in safe, non-violent ways to help end sexual harassment and sexual abuse. Students will also learn about Affirmative Consent and the policies and laws in place regarding college campuses’ response to sexual assault.

If you do not wish for your child to attend these programs, please notify BHS Asst. Principal, Mari Lerz at (203) 794-8600 ext. 1400.

If you have any questions about the programs, contact Ann Rodwell-Lawton, the Director of Education, Training, and Outreach at the Women’s Center at (203) 731-5200 ext. 233.


Disclaimer: The information contained on this page does not necessarily reflect the views of Bethel Advocate. We are presenting a press release from a grassroots organization, and other links to more information about this topic, for you to decide upon. The information about Bethel classes at the bottom of the page is completely separate and we will update more information about the content of those classes if we receive more.


CLICK HERE TO VIEW UPDATED ARTICLE entitled, “Women’s Center and BHS Are Not Forthcoming About ‘Sexual Assault & Abuse Prevention & Awareness’ Class at BHS This Monday.”


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