Specifically, the New York City Comptroller’s report finds that: This troubling landscape comes at a time when New York City students are themselves advocating for more and better guidance in navigating sexual health questions.
A poll conducted by the Youth Advisory Council of the Sexual Education Alliance of New York City (SEANYC) in 2016 collected students’ suggestions for improving the quality of sex ed in their schools.
The intent of the current presidential administration is clear: to scale back funding for programs that work to prevent teenage pregnancy through comprehensive sexual health education and instruction in favor of funding for abstinence-only programs.
In July 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that all grant funding through the Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) program would be terminated two years early[i].
The result is, our students are missing out on critical curriculum, from understanding gender identity, to discussing options for contraception and resources for LGBTQ youth.
These shortcomings take on added urgency today, as more and more health indicators related to sexual health are beginning to inch up again after years of decline, especially in poorer neighborhoods of the city.
While New York State regulations for Health Education and Wellness require that students receive one semester of health instruction in both middle and high schools, there is no explicit requirement that health instruction include sex ed.
This may include covering or subsidizing the cost of certification.[vii] Clarify and expand the current sexual health education requirement: Mandate sexual health and wellness instruction in the health curriculum taught in 6 grades following National Sexuality Education Standards.The task force will offer recommendations for improvements in sexual health curricula, implementation of sexual health education, accountability reporting, and the training and professional development of instructors. Stringer, is intended to provide a statistical foundation to the Council by assessing the state of health instruction in city schools today, examining some of the most worrisome health trends among teenagers, outlining the associated costs of addressing those trends, and establishing the connection between sexual health education and effective prevention.The report then recommends a series of reforms based on best practices from other cities aimed at helping students develop healthy, informed outlooks on their own sexuality and that of others.First Nations youth in Canada demonstrate disproportionately high rates of negative behaviors such as violence, substance abuse, and leaving school early.An understanding of historical context and current environment helps explain these patterns.