Lots of blogosphere buzz about this today, so here’s a blurb from our Alison Gendar:
The city’s two GOP congressmen backed a call for an abstinence-based curriculum as an alternative to the city’s required sex-education program.
Reps. Bob Turner (R-Queens, Brooklyn) and Michael Grimm (R-S.I., Brooklyn) joined NYC Parents’ Choice Coalition in lobbying for a change. (The coalition’s executive director is former Democratic state Assemblyman Michael Benjamin, by the way. – CK)
“Parents had no say in this mandate,” Turner said. “The Archdiocese of New York, Orthodox Jewish groups, Muslims, many are saying this is a sensitive and delicate subject, and they want more say in what is taught.”
Turner said the coalition wanted school officials to offer a second, abstinence-based sex-ed curriculum.
School officials announced in August that sex education would be required in all city middle and high schools. Parents can have their child “opt out” of birth-control discussions, but coalition organizer Greg Pfundstein said this was not enough.
He cited a high school homework assignment that asks students to survey condoms on sale for prices and options.
“You don’t have to be some religious fanatic to not want your ninth-grader comparison price-shopping for condoms at the local store,” said Pfundstein, executive director of the Chiaroscuro Foundation, a nonprofit organization that funds anti-abortion and education projects.
Update: Via our Erin Einhorn, here’s what Mayor Bloomberg had to say on this subject earlier today:
“We have too many kids who unfortunately at a very young age go out, don’t practice safe sex, and they have babies out of wedlock, at an age when they probably … most aren’t mature enough to really understand the responsibilities of being a parent, where you’ve got to support the child and work with that child for decades. And also there’s an enormous number of kids who unfortunately [get] sexual diseases that can be caught from unprotected sex.
“I think it’s the responsibility of the city to explain to the kids the risks. We preach abstinence in the sense that we say the only sure ways to not get pregnant, the only sure ways to not get a sexually transmitted disease is to abstain from sex. And if parents don’t think that it’s an appropriate message for their children, they can remove their children from a class. But we have a responsibility, when you have an out-of-wedlock birth rate and a sexually transmitted disease rate that we have in this city, to try to do something about it. Shame on us if we don’t. It doesn’t mean anybody will listen.”
What do you think should be in New York City’s sex ed curriculum? Sound off in the comments section below!