New York City Public Schools’ New Sex Education Curriculum Will Not Include Condom Demonstrations
New York City public schools' new sex education curriculum will not include condom demonstrations, according to Roger Platt, director of the Office of School Health, the New York Daily News reports (Lucadamo, New York Daily News, 8/27). New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's (R) administration in February announced that city schools will revise outdated HIV/AIDS and sex education curricula and likely begin teaching the subjects to students before eighth grade. New York City schools currently teach sex education only in eighth and 11th grades. Platt said that the city schools' sex education curriculum has not been updated for 20 years, and the AIDS curriculum has not been updated in 10 years (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 2/9). The new curriculum had suggested that high school teachers "have one condom for each student and one for yourself" and use "penis models" or cucumbers to demonstrate correct condom use, according to the Daily News. However, Platt said that teachers can talk with students about condoms but not ask students to demonstrate their use, the Daily News reports. He would not explain why the city decided not to use the demonstrations but said it was following a long-standing city policy, according to the Daily News.
Anita Davis, CEO for Health Strategies -- the company that created the sex education curriculum -- said that the demonstrations were included because students often have no idea how to use a condom correctly, according to the Daily News. "Just carrying a condom isn't enough," Davis said, adding, "If they don't know how to use it, sex can be life-threatening." Some "conservatives" were "relieved" by the city's decision to alter the curriculum, but some maintained that sex education focusing only on abstinence would be better, according to the Daily News. "Once you tell them about condoms, you are giving them a license to be promiscuous," state Sen. Ruben Diaz (D) said. Dana Czuczka, associate policy director at Planned Parenthood of New York City, would not comment on the city's decision to remove the demonstrations but said her group is "encouraged that they are moving forward" with comprehensive sex education (New York Daily News, 8/27).