District 20 Leaders Meet To Talk About Sex Ed

March 8, 2012 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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BAY RIDGE — Parents of schoolchildren in District 20 are being invited to a meeting at which the topic is sex.

Officials from the New York City Department of Education (DOE) will be on hand to offer information on the new, mandated sex education curriculum that is going to be required learning for students starting in the seventh grade.

The meeting, which is co-sponsored by the Community Education Council (CEC) of School District 20 and the PTA Presidents Council, will take place on Thursday, March 15, in the district office, 415 89th St., at 6 p.m.

“I requested this meeting because I think it’s important that parents know what their children will be learning,” CEC 20 President Laurie Windsor said.

A representative of the DOE’s Office of School Wellness will explain the sex education curriculum to parents and answer questions.

Windsor said interpreters will be available to translate the information into different languages if necessary. Many District 20 children come from homes in which the native languages are Mandarin, Russian, Spanish and Arabic.

Windsor attended a recent meeting at the DOE headquarters in the Tweed Courthouse building in lower Manhattan, where she and other CEC presidents from around the city were briefed on the sex education curriculum.

The sex education lessons will be part of a Health Education curriculum, Windsor said.

“They’re required to have a semester of health education. There are two sets of curriculum the schools can choose from,” Windsor said.

The classes are set to begin soon, Windsor said.

“It’s required,” she said.

The sex education mandate set by the Bloomberg administration set off a firestorm of controversy when it was first announced in August. The lessons will include discussions about the human anatomy, pregnancy, and the risks associated with unprotected sex, according to an Aug. 9, 2011 article in The New York Times.

The classes will also include lessons on various methods of birth control. But parents can choose to have their children not take part in those lessons, according to the Times article.

At the high school level, the sex education curriculum will include a discussion by teachers on how to use condoms.

When asked if the March 15 briefing will draw a big crowd of parents, Windsor sounded optimistic.

“I hope so! I don’t know that a lot of parents are aware of the new curriculum. What the CEC wants to do is provide parents with information,” she said.

For more information, call the CEC office at (718) 759-3921.

— Paula Katinas

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