Does Sex Ed Undermine Parental Rights? – NYTimes.com

Does Sex Ed Undermine Parental Rights? – NYTimes.com.

Op-Ed Contributors

Does Sex Ed Undermine Parental Rights?

Princeton, N.J.

IMAGINE you have a 10- or 11-year-old child, just entering a public middle school. How would you feel if, as part of a class ostensibly about the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, he and his classmates were given “risk cards” that graphically named a variety of solitary and mutual sex acts? Or if, in another lesson, he was encouraged to disregard what you told him about sex, and to rely instead on teachers and health clinic staff members?

That prospect would horrify most parents. But such lessons are part of a middle-school curriculum that Dennis M. Walcott, the New York City schools chancellor, has recommended for his system’s newly mandated sex-education classes. There is a parental “opt out,” but it is very limited, covering classes on contraception and birth control.

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Read the full story here: The New York Times

See also: New York City Will Mandate Sex Education

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2 Comments

Filed under adolescents, education, sex education, society, USA

2 responses to “Does Sex Ed Undermine Parental Rights? – NYTimes.com

  1. Jeanne Marie Murray

    I am a retired, NYC public school teacher who easily recalls the decades of debate that has taken place over this topic of NYC providing a sex education program to our young children. A major goal of the program has been to reduce unwanted/unexpected/unwed teenage pregnancy in NYC. The majority of students in this school system are “children of color”. No one can deny that recent statistics show that the unwanted teenage pregnany and terminated-by-abortion rates among this NYC population are disproportionaely higher than the rates for other NYC children. Why are our ” children of color” being subjected to an obviously failed sex edcuation program by an educated man of color? In addition, does Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott think that “more of the same” is going to improve the situation?
    If there ever was an appropriate time for the statement, “If you want a job done right, do it yourself,” it certainly occurs with this situation of the NYC public school system (or I believe, any public school system) being given the task of sex education of children. Who is to say that having a license to teach qualifies a person to teach such a delicate subject to other people’s
    children? Is it possible to teach on this topic without attaching values to biology? If such a possibility does exist, does that mean that sexual acts for humans involves no more of the being than it does for dogs, cats or cattle? Is all that maters, the “how to” not the repercussions on the “who”? To express the thought to children, let alone to anyone, “that you should do whatever you want; nothing matters”, sends a clear message that the essence consists of an act, without any regard for the intrinsic worth of the individual person.
    Since sex education of children is first and foremost the right and the responsibility of the parents who gave life to those children, it seems to me it would be more beneficial to all if Chancellor Walcott and the NYC public school system would put its efforts behind programs that support community-sponsored parent sex education programs. Over the past 30 years, the NYC public school system has been trying to provide for all the needs of its students, from early-morning-breakfast to after-school-hours-babysitting. Even though meals and child care are essential to students, the public school system is not equipped to take on all the responsibilities of raising our childen. We all know that the academic success of many of those students, the high school graduaion rates and the job-readiness of many of those who do graduate are totally inadequate. I appeal to Chancellor Walcott and the NYC Department of Education to put its time, effort, skill and funds into the area it was hired to dedicate itself to and to please recognize, allow and facilitate the rights, responsibilities, and efforts of parents to provide their own children with their own family-desired, appropriate sex education. Maybe one good result of this discussion would be for PARENTS to find more support and assistance in caring for their children themseives than in having the NYC Public School System trying to take on that entire job, especially in respect to sex education. Thank you.

  2. Pit

    Hi Jeanne Marie,
    Thnak you for your thoughtful contribution here. It’s very interesting to read.
    As to sex education – something that’s a regular subject in my native Germany – I believe that both parents and schools should educate children in that subject. Parents, as you maintain, are better qualified as regards the “love” aspect of sex, whereas schools, to my mind, would do better as regards the simple scientific facts, contraception etc. But I wouldn’t state flatly that teachers at school could not also convey the “love” aspect.
    Best regards,
    Pit

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