Sex education classes returning to NYC schools

August 10, 2011 3:20:18 PM PDT
Sex education is returning to New York City schools for the first time in nearly two decades.

City Hall says not only is it appropriate. It's required.


"Well unfortunately what we know is kids in middle school are already having sex and quite frankly what you want to do is get them before they start engaging in sexual activity," said NYC Deputy Mayor, Linda Gibbs.

The schools chancellor says in some of the city's poorest neighborhoods, he was alarmed at what he found.

In a memo to principals yesterday he wrote, "We have students who are having sex before the age of 13, students who have multiple sexual partners, and students who aren't protecting themselves against sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS."

In Downtown Brooklyn, some parents objected. The new requirement is to teach one semester of sex ed to 6th or 7th graders. And then do it again, one more semester in either 9th or 10th grade.

"I don't' think it's too young, but again it depends on the content. I think parents should have a part of what that content is," said parent, Valerie Nero.

That content for high schoolers will include private demonstrations on how to properly use a condom. Also being taught is what the appropriate age for sex is.

"We should teach kids the consequences of sexual promiscuity. That would make more sense than one more lesson about how to put a condom on a cucumber," said Bill Donohue from the Catholic League.

While some object, we heard much more praise for what the city is doing. Some want even more sex ed.

"What we would like to see is every year, every grade, this is an important piece of education for all young people, age appropriate but we're heartened the City is taking this first step which we think is terrific," said JoMalin from Planned Parenthood.

The city will permit parents to opt out if they object because of religious reasons or because they just think the classes are inappropriate. It begins in the spring semester of next year.