Even though top city officials said that students should be taught how to use condoms, it actually wasn't part of the health class curriculum. Until now.
The Wall Street Journal reports that "high schools can start showing students how to use condoms during health classes in the fall, lifting a longtime ban on condom demonstrations during class periods. Currently high school students learn about condoms during sex education in health courses, but must go to 'health resource rooms' to ask for a demonstration of how to handle them."
A spokesman told the WSJ, "Condom demonstrations have long been part of the high school condom availability programs and have been shown to increase rates of condom use,” a city education department spokesman said by email. “Allowing condom demonstrations in high school health education class will provide students with medically accurate information that can help them stay healthy.”
Parents will still be able to opt-out of their children learning something practical and important.
The news was first reported by the student newspaper, The Classic at Townsend Harris High School at Queens College. From their story:
“Some people argued that if the city is just going to give out condoms to students, there’s no need to hold practical demonstrations,” said Ms. Assante, but she disagrees. She believes these demonstrations to be important, but under the current policy, few students take part in them.
“In a year, being generous, I get about 20 kids for these demonstrations,” she estimated. “I always say, ‘bring some friends with you, it makes everyone more relaxed.’ We have 1,200 kids in this school. Let’s say 200 kids opt-out. That leaves us 1,000 kids going to college without learning the right way to put on a condom from a trained professional.”
Assistant Principal of Guidance Veronica York agreed, saying, “I can’t figure out a good reason why [health teachers] couldn’t [show students condoms].”
One student added that it was "ridiculous that they wouldn’t let us see condoms in class. A lot of people are like me in that they learn something better by seeing and doing rather than reading and listening." Yeah, and Never Been Kissed is probably not part of the curriculum either:
FYI, kids, NYC has an official condom and a hashtag for it (#nyccondom).