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Parents’ Group Wants ‘Equal Billing’ For Abstinence Programs In New NYC Sex Education Curriculum

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — For the first time, details of what students will be taught in New York city’s new controversial sex education program are emerging.

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb: Mayor On The Defense

A parents’ coalition charges that the lessons are racy, not age-appropriate and don’t do enough to teach abstinence.

Do you want your child’s homework assignment to include a trip to the neighborhood drug store to do a report on condoms and write a short essay about whether a friend buy protection there?

Or how about this assignment?

“Sending children to take a look at and catalog where the nearest family planning clinics are to map out their directions and and how to get there,” Michael Benjamin, the Executive Director of the New York City Parents’ Choice Coalition, said.

Members of the NYC Parents’ Choice Coalition say parents may be stunned to learn details of the new sex education program that will be required for 6th to 12th graders — some as young as 11– starting in January.

Members of the group are particularly upset about a website that’s apparently part of the curriculum. Its called “Go Ask Alice” and it tells kids how phone sex can be good and how to have sex with braces, CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported.

“In a sense, they’re encouraging children to explore their sexuality,” Benjamin said.

The group claims that the city program assumes students will be sexual active and tries to give them strategies for avoiding teen pregnancy and getting sexually transmitted diseases. What they want is for abstinence programs to be given equal time.

“If you’re going to have a curriculum that is based on having sex…then give abstinence equal billing,” said Brooklyn parent Sylvia Laughlin.

Rev. Michael Faulker said the city program pushes kids to have sex.

“I think that anything that you focus on the most is where you’re going to find the results. If you talk about not having sex and you show kids how to have sex, they’re going to have sex,” Faulkner said.

There are also parents who support the new program.

“Kids are going to be kids, anyhow you take it — going to have sex regardless of what you believe or what they believe they’re going to do what they want to do, but they need to be educated,” said Dionne Peters, of the Upper West Side.

As politicians, religious officials and advocacy groups gathered for an alternative to the curriculum, Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended the program set to be instituted in middle and high schools.

“If parents don’t think that it’s an appropriate message for their children, they can remove their children from the class, but we have a responsibility when you have a out-of-wedlock birthrate 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,” Bloomberg told reporters, including 1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks.

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks Hears From Mayor Bloomberg

Statistics from the City Department of Health show a drop in teen pregnancy. From 2000 to 2009, the number of kids 15 to 19 who got pregnant dropped 20 percent and 26 percent in the 15 to 17 age group.

The mayor said that while abstinence was a “very important part of the curriculum,” the city also had the “responsibility to ensure that teenagers who are choosing to have sex understand the potential consequences of their actions and know how to keep themselves safe.”

“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 way is to not get pregnant, the only sure way to not get a sexually transmitted disease if to abstain from sex,” Bloomberg said.

Schools chancellor Dennis Walcott argues that an increase in the number of sexually transmitted diseases among teenagers increases the urgency of teaching the course.

The Department of Education points out that there is an opt-out provision, and students can attend study hall instead.

“Abstinence is a very important part of the curriculum, but we also have a responsibility to ensure that teenagers who are choosing to have sex understand the potential consequences of their actions and know how to keep themselves safe. So we need a comprehensive curriculum. Abstinence is the only way to be 100 percent safe- but one-third of the new cases of chlamydia in NYC are in teenagers and a significant percentage of our teenagers have had multiple sexual partners, so we can’t stick our heads in the sand about this,” a DOE statement read.

What are your thoughts on the controversial city sex education program?  Share your thoughts in the comments section below…

  • Melissa Moschella

    Parents can opt their kids out only for the classes on birth control methods, not the entire curriculum, which clearly pushes a controversial liberal sexual ideology on impressionable children. See my recent NYT op-ed on this:

    • Tricia

      Thank you for a more accurate understanding of this issue It seems the mayor is either uninformed or giving a deceitful, part-accurate answer.

      “If parents don’t think that it’s an appropriate message for their children, they can remove their children from the class

  • Joe Schmo


  • saoirse

    read the article for a start—they’re NOT SAYING to simply teach/preach abstinence–they want abstinence PRESENTED AS AN OPTION alongside all the other graphic garbage passed off as sex ed.
    anyone interested in OPTING OUT here is the website with sample letters–

    • Michael H.

      Abstinence is always presented as an option. Even back when I was in high school the teacher said “of course, the only 100% effective method against STDs and pregnancy is to simply not do it”. How much time needs to be devoted in the classroom to saying that? It’s ridiculous to expect equal time be given to a topic that doesn’t need more than a sentence or two.

    • Tricia

      Parents need to be informed and know they have rights and options.
      Telling parents they can opt out on the one hand and mandating this smut on the other is offensive and intensionally misleading. This letter should be a required handout by the schools. Empowering the parents to do what they know is best for their children.

  • Carol

    Maybe these people who believe teaching abstinence is the only way should take off their rose-colored glasses to see the real picture. I work with teens everyday & recall a parent declaring her 14 year old daughter was a virgin. Mom was in for a real surprise when her grandchild made it’s appearance about 4 months later. Teens younger & younger are coming in with STDs on a recurring basis… some as young as 12. WAKE-UP PEOPLE…. teens are going to have sex & if they are at least help them do so safely.

    • saoirse

      ya know WHAT ? so what to YOUR PERSONAL story and THEORY, Our children are not children OF THE STATE,nor are they running through the streets sexually active…..some even OBEY GOD. You want YOUR CHILDREN taught this in school ? fine. Others will OPT OUT. totally– from what the STATE CONSIDERS sex EDUCATION and even their scatology called “hygiene” and free condoms.

      • WakeUp

        Not the STATE’S CHILDREN huh? Could have fooled me! Happy meals no longer have toys and no more bake sales because SOME parents don’t know how to tell there kid to put down the entire box of hostess. Free childcare inside high school settings because SOME parents are afraid to admit that their 13 year old daughter is having sex and have a talk with her about it. Teachers having to provide notebooks and pencils because SOME parents can’t be bothered to buy school supplies.. I could go on for days

        The state has had to take over nearly every facet of children’s lives because we have so many unfit parents (or parents who are kids themselves). In case you didn’t know, teaching abstinence does NOT work. I graduated from high school less than 10 years ago and let me tell you, teaching Abstinence is nothing but a free period to these kids. REAL Sex education is necessary and the sad thing is the majority of the kids whose uptight parents will opt them out are most likely the kids who are running around having sex..

      • Michael H.

        I dated catholic school girls in high school. Even the ones who “obey god” still get a little freaky, sometimes even more so than their public school counterparts.

        • CSI

          Catholic school girls are the easiest to get. But really. Lets put it this way. If parents are not going to have the talk with their kids someone has to. Sex is everywhere. on TV ads. I see little girls walking outside with jean shorts so short that you see the lining of their pockets going to school and outside walking with their parents. So give me a break. At least someone out there is trying to educate them.

          • john

            So do you want a stranger chatting up your kids just like any other internet anonymous predator. How bout all the gay and anal. Do you approve of that? How bout how to give oral with braces? Do you approve of that? How bout giving them carteblanch to screw like rabbits cause the teacher says its okay? HOW BOUT LEAVING MINE ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Read ask alice. It may enlighten you as to what will really be taught.

    • john

      How bout you taking of your liberal dunce cap and realize that I have a right to JUST SAY NO to your left leaning tendencies. I have a right to decide what my child will learn and when they will learn it. I can control television and the internet. And yes I know that kids will sneak. But not all the kids are the same.

      I do not know about yours and what you did as a kid. I don’t care about yours or what you did as a kid. I do care about mine.

      What is the difference of a internet predator “chatting up your teenage daughter” and some stranger with a license chatting up your daughter?

      The internet pervert goes to jail and the “educator” gets teacher of the year.

      Go back to your home and teach as you will. Leave my home alone and let me handle it. I am more inclined to get them to listen. And I will not give them a license to screw around

  • Go ACLU

    Forget calculus, they should also be shown the right way to perform gay anal sex and sex between adult and child and or child with teacher. These mohommos may not know math when they get out of nyc public high school, but they will certainly know how to take one up the caboose. Teachers Unions Rock !

  • mj

    these people are morons. we all know how well abstinence works , especially with teens.. almost as good as just say no does and no child left behind

  • abner

    To teach abstinence is well intended innocence, but in a useless dream world. On the other hand, kids think that sex is dirty so when adults start to teach it, they think the adults are dirty, so the sex ed should not got to far ahead of what society can accept

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