NYCLU Criticizes Ban on Condom Demonstrations in Sex Education Classes in New York

Affiliate: ACLU of New York
August 27, 2004 12:00 am

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NEW YORK — The New York Civil Liberties Union today praised the New York City Department of Education for revising the sex education curriculum but criticized its refusal to include recommended condom demonstrations in a new curriculum.

“We are pleased that the Department of Education has taken steps to revise the sex ed curriculum,” said Donna Lieberman, Executive Director of the NYCLU. “But when their own consultants tell them that condom demonstrations are a necessary part of teaching young people how to protect themselves, they should listen.”

As was reported in today’s New York Daily News, the department is revising its long outdated sex education curriculum. However, it has rejected a consultant’s suggestion that condom demonstrations be part of those lessons.

“We know that adolescents, particularly young people of color, comprise one of the fastest growing populations with HIV,” said Rebekah Diller, Director of the NYCLU’s Reproductive Rights Project. “It is essential that the Department of Education do everything in its power to educate New York City students on how to safeguard their health. The department should not impose rigid rules limiting how teachers instruct young people about using condoms.”

Diller noted that every hour, two teenagers in the United States contract HIV. New York City accounts for 15.5 percent of all AIDS cases in the nation, more than the entire state of California.

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