Reactions are pouring in from both sides about the city's new sex ed mandate, which requires all public middle and high schoolers to learn how to do things like put on a condom. The Pope, unsurprisingly, is none too pleased, though parents seem happy that their kids aren't learning from Facebook.
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York called the requirement "troubling," saying “Parents have the right and the responsibility to be the first and primary educators of their children...This mandate by the city usurps that role, and allows the public school system to substitute its beliefs and values for those of the parents.” He called sex ed a "failed experiment" and pushed for abstinence-only education. Under the new plan, parents will have the option to opt out of lessons on birth control if they are not comfortable with the subject matter.
Many parents, however, were pleased: “Children are exposed to sex in so many forms now that it’s better they get the right information from someone," one Inwood mother told the Times. "You've got to be real, because kids are doing it out there," said another in Clinton Hill. The stats don't lie: according to a 2009 Health Department survey, 47 percent of high school students in north and central Brooklyn had sex at least once at 13 or younger. Chiming in from the South Bronx, one mother summed it up quite nicely: "I would prefer for my son to get it from the school than for him to get it from the street or from peers or from TV or social media." We're pretty sure she's talking about sex-ed, not STDs.