Justine Fonte resigns from Dalton School after masturbation video controversy
One parent reportedly reacted to the announcement saying, 'This inability to admit a mistake or acknowledge misstep is strange'
Justine Ang Fonte, a health and wellness teacher at the Dalton School who showed first graders cartoons about masturbation during sex-ed classes at the private school, has reportedly resigned. Back in May, parents of students at the elite Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School in Manhattan were enraged at a porn literacy workshop held for the pupils. This workshop was conducted by Fonte as well.
Fonte had allegedly shown students a video from a free sex education series for children called ‘AMAZE’, in which a cartoon boy asks about erections. In the video, a cartoon little boy asks: “Hey, how come sometimes my penis gets big sometimes and points in the air?” An animated adult woman responds with, “That's called an erection.” Then, the boy says, “Sometimes I touch my penis because it feels good.”
A cartoon girl then says, “Sometimes, when I'm in my bath or when Mom puts me to bed, I like to touch my vulva too." “You have a clitoris there, Kayla, that probably feels good to touch the same way Keith's penis feels good when he touches it,” the adult character says.
As per Jim Best, the head of the Dalton School on Manhattan's Upper East Side, Fonte will not return next year. As per reports, Best in an email announcing Fonte's resignation said that the school still stood “firmly behind the program and those who teach it.”
Best reportedly sent the mail to parents on Friday, June 11. One angry parent had previously 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?" to the press. "Kids have no less than five classes on gender identity -- this is pure indoctrination. This person should absolutely not be teaching children," another parent anonymously complained last week.
One parent said, "Ironically, she teaches kids about 'consent' yet she has never gotten consent from parents about the sexually explicit, and age-inappropriate material about transgender to first graders." She further claimed that parents were "gaslit" into thinking they were "confused" by the lessons. "We are in fact just seeing very clearly for the first time what a 'progressive' education really means at Dalton," she said.
Best wrote in the mail, “Throughout her tenure at Dalton, Justine Ang Fonte has helped to develop an exemplary K-12 Health and Wellness program. Dalton -- our faculty, staff, administration, and trustees -- continues to stand firmly behind this program and those who teach it. At faculty and staff meetings this week, Justine announced her decision to leave Dalton to focus on her work as an independent Health Educator. She has been working toward this goal for over a year. We support Justine's aspirations and look forward to honoring her accomplishments as the academic year comes to a close.”
But this mail, too, has angered parents. One parent reportedly reacted to the statement with, “This inability to admit a mistake or acknowledge misstep is strange.”