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Back to November Ed Reporter

Education Reporter
NUMBER 310 THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS NOVEMBER 2011

NYC Mandates Shocking Sex-Ed
As part of Mayor Bloomberg's $130 million initiative to cut down on the rate of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases in minority students, New York City will mandate explicit sex education for middle and high school students starting next year. All students, some as young as ten years old, will be required to take two semesters of sex education, one in middle school and one in high school.

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Although the program claims to promote abstinence, the curriculum includes explicit content to describe sexually risky behaviors and how to avoid them. According to a New York Post review of the textbooks, the classes will likely include the following assignments: "High-school students go to stores and jot down condom brands, prices and features such as lubrication. Teens research a route from school to a clinic that provides birth control and STD tests, and write down its confidentiality policy. Kids ages 11 and 12 sort 'risk cards' to rate the safety of various activities, including intercourse using a condom and an oil-based lubricant, mutual masturbation, French kissing, oral sex and anal sex."

Health classes that were focused on nutrition and physical fitness will now include a good portion of instruction on how to use condoms and other birth control methods. Parents will be able to opt their children out of the sessions on contraception, but not any of the other sex ed lessons.

Abortion provider Planned Parenthood and abortion advocacy group NARAL Pro-Choice New York are among the organizations supporting the supposedly abstinence-based program.

At least one New York parent is skeptical about the efficacy of the new program. Gloria Nunez-Pacheco, a mother of three, said of the school system, "They already have failed our kids in academics; you think they're going to do a good job teaching them about sex? I don't think so."

Republican Representatives Bob Turner and Michael Grimm, along with NYC Parent's Choice Coalition believe that the mandate violates parental authority. Turner stated, "Parents had no say in this mandate. The Archdiocese of New York, Orthodox Jewish groups, Muslims, many are saying this is a sensitive and delicate subject, and they want more say in what is taught."

(The New York Times, 8-9-11; The Washington Times, 10-30-11; www.rhrealitycheck.org, 10-25-11; The Wall Street Journal, 8-13-11; New York Post, 10-22-11)
 
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