Letter to the Editor submitted to the Spirit of Jefferson and printed on September 15th, 2021 (this original version was slightly edited).
Last week, Edward Belmonte Jr., a health teacher at Jefferson High School was arrested after allegedly having sex multiple times, including inside a school closet, with a 17 year old student.
Notably, Belmonte testified that abstinence-centered education does not work and should not be taught at the January 11th Jefferson County Board of Education Meeting. He was responding to my comments about the importance of abstinence-centered health education.
What kind of person does not want school age youth to abstain from sex before marriage? We can see clearly in this case that it is a person who wants to have sex with underage children!
This is not the first time this has happened in Jefferson County and at Jefferson High School. In 2016, Joel Michael Ziler, a music teacher and choir director was convicted of having sexual relations with two female students. Other sexually related incidents where teachers where fired and their licenses were revoked occurred in Jefferson County in 2005, 2009, 2018 and 2019. Belmonte also is a graduate of Jefferson High School.
In my testimony at the January 11th Board of Education meeting, I shared:
“SIECUS promotes so called comprehensive sex education. That means that school age youth are not encouraged to abstain from sexual activity. Sexual exploration is seen as being healthy, as long as contraceptives are used.
This contrasts with abstinence-centered sexual health education, which is the real comprehensive sexual health education. This is because, sexual abstinence is stated as the expected standard for school age youth, in line with Federal Title V standards. Virtually 100% of parents agree with this approach.”
Urban Life Training, the nonprofit organization that my wife Stacey and I founded in 2003, has helped over 3000 students along the path to success by teaching the benefits of sexual abstinence before marriage. We would like to offer this program to all middle and high schools in Jefferson County that want it, free of charge to the schools.
But to do this we need your help. Both curriculum presenters and Teen Choice Service Club leaders are needed, as well as financial support to fund the program.