NYC middle, high schools failing to provide sex education, comptroller's study finds

Thursday, September 14, 2017
NYC middle, high schools failing to provide sex education, comptroller's study finds
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A.J. Ross has the latest on the issue facing NYC schools.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A disturbing new study conducted by New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer reveals city schools are failing to provide middle and high school students with basic sex education courses as required by state law.

"Most schools do not have a city licensed or state certified health teacher," Stringer said. "We found real holes in this process."

Stringer emphasized the intent of the investigative report which carefully reviewed several years of school records was not to point blame at the Department of Education, but to make health education a priority and standard for all students.

"Sexual health classes aren't just about teaching the birds and the bees, it's a time to learn about lifestyle choices and safe decisions," Stringer said.

Without this critical knowledge, Stinger fears several alarming trends may continue.

One-fifth of all New York City high school students reported not using any contraception which is higher than the national average.

11-percent reported experiencing sexual violence during the past 12 months.

"Sex ed is not an extra, it's not a throwaway, it's not a subject that can be a low priority," said Emily Kadar, Sexuality Education Alliance of NYC. "The health, safety and wellbeing of New York City's young people depends on having the information and tools they need to make the best decisions for themselves."

The Comptroller's Office is now offering a list of recommendations to the DOE to expand and improve health curriculum, instruction and recruitment.

"In an age appropriate, medically accurate curriculum we want our kids to make smart decisions," Kadar said.