The Riverdale Press
Former Assemblyman Michael Benjamin stopped by The Press offices on
Oct. 6 to talk about his pro-abstinence organization NYC Parents Choice
Coalition. The coalition’s goal is to get abstinence included in the
mandatory sex-ed classes that will begin for city middle schoolers in
January. Mr. Benjamin said he is in favor of the sex-ed mandate, but
wants an abstinence-centered option included in the curriculum.
Parents and their children can opt out of the program for religious
reasons or if they do not want their children to learn about birth
control methods, but Mr. Benjamin thinks parents should be allowed to
opt into abstinence.
“The focus is more on what are the consequences of having sex as a
teenager,” he said.
“They’re conceding teenagers should have sex,” he added, “we’d like
parents to have this option.”
Mr. Benjamin came equipped with a booklet from the National Abstinence
Education Association called, “Abstinence Works 2011,” which outlines
the successes of abstinence initiatives nationwide in reducing teenage
The Department of Education has agreed to meet with Mr. Benjamin to
discuss his idea in November.