Letter to the Editor, "Sex Ed in the City," by Joan Malin, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood of New York City, published in New York Times (9/22/09)
Re “This Year, Principals’ Power Means They Decide What to Cut” (front page, Sept. 15):
New York City has no policy requiring sex education. As a result, when and whether the subject is taught is up to each individual principal. With principals facing tough decisions and limited financial resources, all too often this essential subject is left behind.
Yet never has sex education been more important. One in three New York City high school students are sexually active, and one in two will contract a sexually transmitted disease before age 25.
Additionally, according to a recent survey, 85 percent of registered voters in New York want their kids to have sex education.
As long as sex ed is considered optional, principals with limited resources will be in the difficult position of weighing it against other essential programs. That is why parents need to let their principals know that they consider sex ed vital to their children’s safety and education, and that New York City should make sex education a required part of its curriculum.