|1/14/2013 10:58:00 AM|
Efforts to oust Planned Parenthood from schools hit wall
Photos by Bill Diss
Sheets showing that teens are being offered money to join Planned Parenthood clubs.
Pro-life Oregonians are still trying to nix a program run by Planned Parenthood in some public high schools, but education officials are not budging.
Protesters packed a Portland School Board study session late last year, calling for an end to a club that aims to prevent teen pregnancy and curb drug use. Opponents say that Planned Parenthood, because it provides abortion and seems to promote sexual activity, is a tainted provider.
The Teen Outreach Program is available at Roosevelt, Jefferson, Madison, Benson, Wilson, and the Leadership and Entrepreneurship Charter School. Teens are offered incentives to join, even cash.
Bill Diss, a member of Holy Rosary Parish who teaches at Benson, says he wants to protect students from entering into sexual activity that will harm them and their prospects. "We are causing the little ones to sin when we don't write and stand up to the school board and principals," Diss said in an email to supporters.
Dr. Bill Toffler also spoke out before the school board in opposition to the Planned Parenthood program. Dr. Toffler said he supports Diss' decision to block the club from entering his classroom. Diss, who is pro-life director for the local Knights of Columbus, was disciplined for his stand.
Portland Public Schools has no plans to pull the program, a spokesman has said. It's paid for by a federal grant.
Parents in Salem lodged similar protests over the program in the fall, with officials from the Salem-Keizer School District deciding to continue the program.