Manhattan’s prestigious Dalton School has announced the resignation of Justine Ang Fonte—a teacher who ignited backlash over her controversial sex education lesson for first-graders.
According to the New York Post, the head of the school, Jim Best, confirmed the move in an email to parents Friday, months after Fonte showed the young students a video about masturbation. The film featured children cartoon characters having frank discussions about sexual activities and bodily functions, including erections and touching oneself for pleasure.
“Hey, how come sometimes my penis gets big sometimes and points in the air?” a boy asks in the cartoon. “Sometimes I touch my penis because it feels good.”
“Sometimes, when I’m in my bath or when Mom puts me to bed, I like to touch my vulva too,” a little girl adds.
The Dalton School reportedly removed the video from its curriculum after parents, who pay up to $55,000 a year in tuition, expressed their outrage.
“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 — continue to stand firmly behind this program and those who teach it,” Best wrote. “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.”
Fonte was also criticized last month over her “pornography literacy” class at the Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School. According to the Post, the lesson was a co-ed workshop for juniors that addressed various porn genres—such as “incest-themed,” BDSM, and “barely legal—as well as statistics on the “orgasm gap,” and the “marketability of OnlyFans.”
Columbia’s head of school Dr. William M. Donohue addressed the workshop in an email to parents last month, insisting the “content and tone of the presentation did not represent our philosophy, which is to educate our students in ways that promote their personal development and overall health, as well as to express respect for them as individuals. It was unfortunate that we did not better inform ourselves of the speaker’s specific content in advance.”