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New York's sex ed mandate: Mixed reaction

Someone is going to tell your 15-year-old son or daughter how to use acondom. After a new mandate takes effect next spring requiring sexeducation classes at city public schools, that someone is going to betheir teacher.

Someone is going to tell your 15-year-old son or daughter how to use a condom. After a new mandate takes effect next spring requiring sex education classes at city public schools, that someone is going to be their teacher.

It’s been 20 years since New York City last required sex education in schools. The last mandate came to an end after heavy opposition from school board members and religious groups.

The new mandate, which requires sex-ed in middle and high schools, comes at a time when 83 out of every 1,000 teen girls in the city become pregnant, according to the Department of Health.

Some schools already choose to offer sex-ed classes, but not many?— 64 percent of middle schools and 38 percent of high schools, according to a recent survey by the Department of Education. But some say it’s hardly working.

“New York City never learns. After 20 years of giving away condoms to high-school kids ... We should instead be teaching them about the consequences of sexual experimentation,” said Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League.

The mandated curriculum will include a course in sex-ed for sixth- or seventh-graders and once again for ninth- or 10th-graders. Students will be given information on topics including puberty, STDs, contraceptives and pregnancy.

The courses will also include lessons on dealing with peer pressure to have sex. The mandate is scheduled to take effect the second semester of this coming school year.

 
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