Sex education classes now required for city’s public middle and high schools

RACHEL MONAHAN and RICH SCHAPIRO, New York Daily News | August 11, 2011

Sex ed classes will be required in all of the city’s public middle and high schools this school year for the first time in almost two decades, officials revealed Tuesday.The new mandate calls for schools to devote a course to the birds and the bees in sixth or seventh grade – and again in ninth or tenth grade – starting the second semester of the upcoming school year.

The policy shift, first reported in The New York Times, means that students as young as 11 will be taught everything from the risks of unprotected sex to issues surrounding pregnancy and puberty. High schoolers will receive pointers on the proper way to use a condom, officials said.

“In high schools, an oral description of how to use a condom will be given,” a Department of Education official said. “If students want a demonstration, one can be given in the health resource room.”

Parents will have the right to keep their children out of lessons on birth-control methods, officials said.

There will also be lessons on skills such as how to resist a partner’s sexual advances when a student is not ready and how to avoid abusive relationships.  (Read more)