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‘Porn literacy’ class at New York prep school leaves students and parents baffled

‘Pornography Literacy: An intersectional focus on mainstream porn’ was a course given to 120 male and female students (some in person, others by Zoom) and, according to the New York Post, was taught by Justine Ang Fonte, the Health & Wellness director at New York’s Dalton, who says on her website that she has “reveled in disrupting health education for 10 years.”

The presentation, some of which was seen by the Post, included images of partially nude women (some in bondage), discussions on the “orgasm gaps” between straight and gay women, and popular search terms on pornographic websites like “stepmom” and “anal,” as well as ‘genres’ of porn such as “barely legal.”

Another section included a lesson on “the marketability of OnlyFans,” an increasingly popular subscription service where people, mainly females, offer suggestive or pornographic photos and videos for fees. One example given for an OnlyFans ‘creator’ is someone who identifies as ‘non-binary’, but uses the term ‘girl’ to describe themselves to help market their creator page.

While parents expressed outrage after discovering details of the class, students appeared more confused by the presentation than anything else.

“We were supposed to answer questions about the porn stuff in the Zoom chat but we were all side-chatting in group chats and tons of kids thought it was so dumb that they sent the link to their friends all over the city and they were all logging on with the password,” one student told the Post. 

That student’s mother said she and other parents are “frustrated by what’s going on” and the lack of a warning or chance to opt out of the class has left her wondering “what else the school is up to.”

Multiple other parents requested materials from the ‘porn literacy’ lesson from administrators, but were denied. 

“Why is the school making porn a priority as opposed to physics, art, literature or poetry?” one parent asked. 

After reports of the lesson went public and outrage increased, Dr. William M. Donohue, Columbia’s head of school, sent an email to parents apologizing and admitting the lesson did not “represent our philosophy.”

“It was unfortunate that we did not better inform ourselves of the speaker’s specific content in advance,” he said. “In this case, the speaker did not align with our unique CGPS mission and for this, I apologize.”

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