After an uproar from local parents over the weekend on social media
speaker Shelly Donahue will no longer be speaking in front of students this
Wednesday and Thursday events between Donahue and eighth- through 12th-grad
students have been cancelled, the school district announced. The 6:15 p.m.,
Wednesday presentation for parents is still scheduled.
Parents reportedly found Donahue's message to be demeaning to girls and too
rooted in Christianity for a public school.
"Her message includes likening young women who choose to be sexually active
to a piece of dirty tape that will lose it's bonding power with every
'use,'" Anne-Louise Band posted on Saturday. "The very real damage this
could cause all our students is appalling, but in particular sexually
active young women are singled out as dirty. Additionally, victims of
sexual abuse or violence will hear this message; that they are like a piece
of used dirty tape (unless their parents choose the opt-out form provided)."
Donahue's speaking engagements were not going to be paid for by the
district, but rather were to be sponsored by Turning Point, a
Christian-oriented pregnancy resource center. She has previously spoken in
Jackson in 2014.
"I'm appalled that TCSD would promote a religiously based agenda that
shames young women, not to mention the fact that abstinence until marriage
is ineffective and unrealistic," another parent wrote.
Donahue's approach is primarily one of abstinence. Her website's tagline is
"raising the bar of sexual self-control."
*screenshot h/t youtube *