New Sex-Ed Curriculum Teaches About Sexual Orientation

The sex education curriculum that the city is mandating in public schools this year will include teaching students about questions of sexual orientation.

The new curriculum will include defining for middle and high school students how different types of sexual attraction work, and will generate discussion on the challenges all relationships face, whether gay or straight.

Under the new policy, all schools will have to teach sex ed. While schools can choose their own curriculum, many will likely use the two programs that the Department of Education provides, called "Health Smart" and "Reducing the Risk."

In one middle school unit, titled “Sexual Identity,” Health Smart instructs teachers to explain the differences between heterosexual, bisexual and homosexual attraction and tells teachers to explain how “sexual stereotyping is caused by fear, ignorance or misunderstanding, and  . . . is hurtful and harmful.”

Critics say parents should be discussing these issues with children, not schools.