Universal standard for sex education set up in New York
Summary of story from RHRealityCheck, October 26, 2011
New York City is introducing a universal standard for sex education in the city’s middle and high schools.
Announced by schools chancellor Dennis Walcott in August, the policy seeks to put an end to the ‘loose patchwork’ of sex education programmes in the city.
Students’ likelihood of receiving sex education has depended on whether school principals have considered it a priority, teachers have the training to teach it, or parents are informed enough to demand it.
New York State has required general health education classes for all public schools since 1967, and HIV and AIDS education since 1987, but sex education was not required and was by no means universal.
The new laws will ensure that middle schools and high schools teach at least one term of sex education each, beginning in the Spring term of 2012.
Opposition has arisen from the Catholic Archdiocese and the vehemently anti-choice Chiaroscuro Foundation, and New York Congress members Bob Turner and Michael Grimm recently led an anti-sex education rally outside a Brooklyn public school.
However, as the largest public school district in the country, serving 1.1 million students, New York City hopes that their universal standard will serve as a catalyst for other localities interested in moving forward with a sex education policy.