New York to implement mandatory sex ed in all public middle schools, bishops encourage opt-out
NEW YORK, August 11, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The mayor of New York City plans to force all public middle and high school students to participate an explicit sex education regimen, a mandate the Archdiocese of New York is calling on Catholic parents to fight.
The New York Times reports that New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg will require that each student take a semester of sexual education in either 6th or 7th grade, and again in 9th or 10th grade in both middle school and high school.
The city government is promoting two curriculum programs, entitled HealthSmart and Reducing the Risk. The materials promote abstinence alongside lessons for contraceptive methods, such as how to put on a condom, and explicit information on vaginal, anal and oral sex.
“HIV in semen, blood or vaginal fluids passes between partners through the thin mucus membranes of the penis, vagina, rectum or mouth,” states one pamphlet called “HIV Facts.”
In a pamphlet called “Birth Control Choices,” the company lists the “strong points” and “weak points” of various methods such as male and female condoms, hormonal contraceptives, and the temporary sterilizing drug Depo-provera. Abstinence is also listed as a form of “birth control” whose weak points include: “May feel pressured by friends, boyfriend or girlfriend.”
The Health Smart middle school curriculum also includes material aimed at “HIV, STD & pregnancy prevention.” The Times reports that parents will be allowed to opt children out of lessons on birth control methods.
Joseph Zwilling, Director of Communications for the Archdiocese, called the decision “troubling.”
“Parents have the right and the responsibility to be the first and primary educators of their children. This mandate by the city usurps that role, and allows the public school system to substitute its beliefs and values for those of the parents,” said Zwilling in a statement Wednesday.
Archdiocesan attorney Edward Mechmann told the New York Times that he would encourage parents to exercise the opt-out option for explicit material and to inspect lesson contents.
Brooklyn bishop Nicholas DiMarzio also said he would work with Catholic families to shore up parents’ rights against the mandate, according to the Times.
Following a tumultuous campaign, New York state legislators in June passed the same-sex “marriage” law that went into effect late last month. Weeks later, the New York Post reported that top city school officials were already planning on how to work the new marriage definition into the state’s official school curriculum.
“We have to do it. We have to think of where to do it,” said New York State Board of Regent Chancellor Merryl Tisch. “We have to think of, how we do discuss gay marriage thoughtfully, respectfully and sensitively. There has to be age-appropriateness.”
Even summer vacation has proved no impediment: city summer school teachers have already begun discussing homosexual “marriage” In their civics classes, the Post reported.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg can be reached here.