New York City will once again require middle schools and high schools teach sex education.
The city said the move to make sexual ed mandatory is part of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's recent $130 million Young Men's Initiative, a program aimed at helping improve the lives of black and Latino males.
Sixty-four percent of middle schools use the current voluntary sex ed curriculum, but the city isn’t sure how many high schools do – somewhere between about 40 and 80 percent.
Starting the second semester of the coming school year, all students will get one semester of sex ed in both middle and high school.
The Department of Education will offer training to teachers, and parents will be able to remove their children from particular lessons involving birth control.
"I don’t think they should be taught [sex ed] because you're condoning your kids to go out and have sex, which will then increase pregnancy," said Ayesa Concha of Brooklyn who has a 10-year-old daughter in middle school.
But But Aylia Tellado, 18, said it's important to arm kids with information.
"I think it's important to know to use safety and what can happen if you don’t because a lot of teens don’t know what happens if you’re not practicing safe sex," said Tellado, who will be a senior this fall. "Then they get hit with an STD or something and they’re surprised. They don’t even know who to talk to about solving the problem."
Read the letter Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott sent to principals.