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Press Release 11-28-07
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D.C PUBLIC SCHOOLS POISED TO BOOT ABSTINENCE PROGRAM IN SPITE OF SUCCESS


EMBARGOED UNTIL WED., CONTACT: Richard Urban
NOVEMBER 28, 5:30 PM 202-544-5081
202-255-4567 (Cell)


Washington, D.C. – A directive abstinence program offered to Washington DC public school youth is set to be eliminated and the program’s provider, ULTRA Teen Choice, barred from the city’s schools if new Health Standards are adopted, according to the non-profit group. The group claims that since ULTRA Teen Choice doesn’t promote the acceptance of homosexuality, abortion, and contraception, activists, including those from METRO TeenAIDS, another provider, are lobbying for its ouster from the public school system. METRO TeenAIDS is one of the organizations which helped develop the city’s Health Standards.

ULTRA Teen Choice testified against the proposed Health Standards before the DC. School Board Wednesday night and requested continuation of its program which teaches teens about HIV/AIDS prevention, promotes abstinence from pre-marital sex, drugs, alcohol, and tobacco use, offers peer support and provides a mentoring program in partnership with college students from local universities such as Howard and George Washington. These mentors encourage youth in their decision to avoid the physical, intellectual, emotional, social and moral consequences of substance abuse and sexual activity, according to Richard Urban, ULTRA Teen’s executive director.

“It is ironic that those who promote more ‘choices’ for youth are actually seeking to deny the choice of youth who want to remain sexually abstinent,” says Urban, “Activists who want to promote the acceptance of homosexuality and the promotion of contraception to 6th -8th graders have found support in Chancellor Michelle Rhee’s office. ULTRA Teen Choice clubs have been targeted since last Spring by activists who wish to eliminate the abstinence program from D.C. Public Schools and have found a way with the proposed Health Standards.”

ULTRA Teen Choice was recently barred from continuing its abstinence program at Stuart-Hobson Middle School because of a moratorium placed by the Chancellor’s office to ensure consistency with DC standards . Over 30 students were participating in two ULTRA Teen Choice Service Clubs at the school until it was abruptly suspended after four years of successful operation. The ULTRA Teen Choice program had already been reviewed multiple times by the DC Public Schools HIV/AIDS office.

Read the emails detailing these events and other pertinent information at http://www.ultrateenchoice.org/c_SAVE_DC_Action_Page_629_English.htm
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