Middle school students in New York are getting a hard course on the birds and the bees. Starting this coming school year, for the first time in nearly two decades, students will receive state-mandated sex education.
That's a change from previous years, when kids learned about HIV risks but not necessarily sex per se.
According to the New York Times, schools will now have to teach one semester of sex ed in 6th or 7th grade, and another in 9th or 10th grade. On the curriculum; how to use a condom, birth control, teen pregnancy, STDS, and ways to say no to unwanted sexual contact.
Abstinence will still be taught, and the city recommends that schools use the HealthSmart or Reducing the Risk lesson plan packages, which both include discussion of abstinence. Parents will be able to have their children opt out of the lessons on birth-control methods.
According to the New York Times, city officials said that while there would be frank discussions with students as young as 11 on topics like anatomy, puberty, pregnancy and the risks of unprotected sex, the focus was to get students to wait until they were older to experiment. At the same time, knowing that many teens are sexually active, the administration wants to teach them about safe sex in the hopes of reducing pregnancy, disease and dropouts.
Should all kids receive sex ed?
Viewers serve up their thoughts on Facebook:
Krystal writes: "I think it should be optional teenagers need to know what's going on and not just what their friends are saying ! They should have somewhere to go esp if their parents aren't very open to discussing sex with them. I went to a private school where sex ed couldn't be discussed... Just cuz you aren't discussing it doesn't mean that it's not going on!"
Billy writes: "It should start in the home. I don't need a professor telling me how I should protect myself."
Jamie writes: "Now, kids and teens will learn about how to use a condom, as well as some ways to say no to unwanted sexual contact." How could this be bad? When I was in school we had a "sex ed" class.. if you could call it that. They had boys in one room and girls in another. I don't know what they talked to the boys about, but they spent the majority of the class explaining pads and tampons and menstrual cycles to us and then told us to wait until marriage to have sex. No talk about birth control or condoms. I got pregnant when I was 16. I am 21 with a 5 year old. I want my daughter to be taught sex ed the RIGHT way because by the time she is wanting to have sex.. Who knows if she'll listen to anything I have to say? We all know how Teenage girls can be. I'd rather my daughter know all about condoms, the pill, and the shot and be able to make an informed decision than be told not sex until marriage and then get knocked up like I did. Kudos NY!
Rick's Loft writes: Yes! But make sure it's not taught by some creepy pedifile looking dude/dudette. A nice video series would be preferred.
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