Northeast Ohio Pregnancy Center Tells Students STDs are Prevented by Marriage

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Photo courtesy of the Wooster City School District Facebook page
  • Photo courtesy of the Wooster City School District Facebook page
The Wooster City School District enraged parents and sparked a response from a national non-profit organization last month when it hosted a presentation from a religiously affiliated pregnancy center. 

According to a complaint from a parent sent to the non-profit organization American Atheists, the faith-based Pregnancy Care Center of Wayne County told Wooster High School students that marriage is a form of STD prevention. Similarly, the center let kids know that if they become pregnant after being raped, their only route is adoption.

According to the parent, the lecture was given Oct. 28 to an 8th grade class. In the days after, the parent said she contacted the school's principals asking why parents hadn't been informed prior to the lecture and suggested a representative from the Wooster Health Center speak instead of the pregnancy care center. Associate principal Nolan Wickard refused her suggestion. 
 
In response to the unidentified parent's complaint, American Atheists have reached out to the Wooster City School District, urging it to switch to a fact-based secular sexual education program. In a letter sent Monday, the group cited the public school's own policy which forbids educational activities that "advance any particular religion or religion generally."

Ironically, the religiously affiliated center boasts on its website that it is in fact an evidence-based education service. The center provides limited care to expectant mothers in Wayne County and expectedly steers clear of offering abortion or contraception information. 

Though the parent who complained was speaking directly about a presentation given to one of Wooster's 8th grade classes, the pregnancy care service promotes two abstinence education programs for grades 6-12. The first, for middle-schoolers, teaches students the benefits of "delayed gratification" and avoiding peer pressure. The second, geared towards teens, preaches the dangers of premarital sex and something called "secondary virginity."

The letter sent to the school asked for a response within five business days, meaning we'll have to wait until Monday to see how the school feels about the whole thing. 

The full letter from American Atheists can be read here, which includes a more elaborate breakdown of the parent's complaint and the school's policies.

At the time of publication, the Pregnancy Care Center as well as the Wooster City School District haven't returned our calls for comment.

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