The Dalton School is one of New York’s most elite private schools
An elite New York city school has been hit with a wave of protests by parents after they discovered their children were being shown videos about masturbation.
The $55,000-a-year Dalton School has reportedly been bombarded with complaints over the sex education classes their six and seven-year-old kids had been receiving, the New York Post reports.
The news site said that the institution’s Director of Health and Wellness Justine Ang Fonte had been showing the first grade pupils (Year 2 in the UK), cartoons featuring small children discussing touching themselves.
In one clip, a little animated boy asks: “Hey, how come my penis gets big sometimes and points up in the air?”, adding: “Sometimes I touch my penis because it feels good.”
A girl character then says: “Sometimes when I’m in my bath or when mom puts me to bed, I like to touch my vulva too.”
The adult in the cartoon then briefly explains the biology behind why they enjoy the sensation but adds that they should never touch their private parts in public.
Fonte has attempted to reassure parents that she does not use the word “masturbation” in her classes, but parents have still expressed outrage at the material, according to the Post.
A little boy describes an erection in the cartoonAMAZE Parents/YouTube
One mother told the news site: “We were horrified to learn this was shown to our first-grade six- and seven-year-old kids without our knowledge or consent. But it’s so hard to fight back because you’ll get canceled and your child will suffer.”
Another said: “I’m not against all sex education but it’s not cool to keep parents in the dark about it.”
Fonte’s lessons for the age group reportedly included discussions on gender identity and consent, which also sparked fury among some mums and dads.
Although a number acknowledged that it was important to teach children the concept and value of consent to protect them from abuse, others said the issue had been taken to extremes.
One claimed that children had been told that their own parents and grandparents shouldn’t touch them without first asking permission.
One such parent allegedly said: “I’m paying $50,000 to these a–holes to tell my kid not to let her grandfather hug her when he sees her?”
While another complained: “Literally parents are supposed to say to their kids, ‘May I hug you?’”
The video explained the function of male and female ‘private parts’AMAZE Parents/YouTube
The school responded to their concerns by insisting that only a “small group” of parents had protested against Fonte’s classes and that they had “misinterpreted” the content, the Post reports.
However, the school has also discreetly removed the video about kids touching themselves from the curriculum.
A Dalton spokesman said in a statement: “As part of Dalton’s comprehensive Health curriculum for students, a lesson on Gender & Bodies included two evidence-based and age-appropriate videos approved for students four years and older.
“These videos align with nationally recognized methodologies and standards.
“We consistently review our Health curriculum, making sure that the content is developmentally appropriate and, if necessary, we adapt our curriculum accordingly.
“We will continue to listen carefully to parent feedback, respond thoughtfully to community concerns, and develop lessons that are in the best interest of our students, respect our community’s values, and correspond with best practices.”