Report: NYC Prep School Parents Outraged over Class on ‘Porn Literacy’

Justine Fontee/justinefonte.com
Justine Fontee/justinefonte.com

Parents of students at the Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School are reportedly outraged over explicit content added to the curriculum.

In addition to usual studies, the school last month launched lessons about porn but allegedly did not inform families or allow them to decline, according to a New York Post article published on May 22.

The outlet continued:

When juniors at the $47,000-a-year Manhattan school showed up for a health and sexuality workshop, most thought it was “just going to be about condoms or birth control,” a student told The Post. Instead, it was something called “Pornography Literacy: An intersectional focus on mainstream porn,” taught by Justine Ang Fonte, who’s the director of Health & Wellness at another elite prep school, Dalton.

The often-explicit slide presentation and lecture by Fonte to the 120 boys and girls included lessons on how porn takes care of “three big male vulnerabilities”; statistics on the “orgasm gap” showing straight women have far fewer orgasms with their partners than gay men or women; and photos of partially-nude women, some in bondage, to analyze “what is porn and what is art.”

The Post said it reviewed some of Fonte’s presentation.

“One slide cited various porn genres such as ‘incest-themed,’ consensual or ‘vanilla,’ ‘barely legal,’ and ‘kink and BDSM’ (which included ‘waterboard electro’ torture porn as an example),” the outlet reported.

On her website titled “intersectional health education,” Fonte explained, “I come from a family of Philippine immigrants, am a child of colonization, student of decolonization, and have reveled in disrupting health education for 10 years.”

One presentation listed on the website is labeled “Porn Literacy 11th Grade Class.”

A female student reportedly said many of the teenagers, aged 16 and 17, viewed the lesson on Zoom while they were at home, which alerted some parents to the content. However, some students were at the school and made to gather in the gym to watch on their laptops.

“We were all so shocked and mortified,” the student told the Post, adding, “We were all like, ‘Why are they doing this? Why do they think it’s OK?’”

Meanwhile, concerned parents launched an anonymous social media page titled “@SpeakUpCGPS,” according to the outlet.

“CGPS is heading for disaster. An ideology masquerading as ‘social justice’ threatens to destroy our school. Speak up!” the Instagram profile read:

@speakupcgps/Instagram

@speakupcgps/Instagram

Once the Post published its article, Columbia’s head of school Dr. William M. Donohue reportedly issued an email to parents stating the “content and tone of the presentation did not represent our philosophy, which is to educate our students in ways that promote their personal development and overall health, as well as to express respect for them as individuals.”

“It was unfortunate that we did not better inform ourselves of the speaker’s specific content in advance,” he wrote. “In this case, the speaker did not align with our unique CGPS mission and for this, I apologize… Going forward we will certainly learn from this experience.”

However, a mother organizing the social media campaign told the Post Donohue’s statement did not address the root issue.

“It’s not about this one class. It’s about the whole radical direction the school is going into,” she reportedly said.

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