NEW YORK (NBC) - For the first time in nearly two decades, New York City schools will start teaching mandatory sex education classes to all middle and high school students.
Michael Watson is a perfect example of why the Bloomberg Administration wants to put sex education in every middle and high school.
Six years after becoming a father at age 16, Watson is homeless. So are his ex-girlfriend and their little boy. He's unemployed, and while he's learned some life lessons, he says he's still never had any meaningful sex education.
"I learned from TV," Watson said.
It's all part of Mayor Bloomberg's efforts to reach young black and Latino men and improve their chances of success.
Eighty-three teens per 1,000 get pregnant in New York.
Planned Parenthood says age-appropriate sex education should be taught every year. The city's plan would offer it once in middle school, once in high school.
"As they get older, their questions would be different; the information you would want to provide would be different," said Joan Malin of Planned Parenthood
"I think most of that stuff should be taught in the home by parents, grandparents. I have a hard time thinking of the government interfering in the personal lives," John Trevellini said.
The archdiocese says teaching grade-school children about sex and condom use is troubling. He argued that free condom giveaways in schools haven't helped.
The curriculum would cover contraception and abstinence. And parents who don't approve can opt out. Research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shown that 41 percent of New York City youth said they were sexually active by the ninth grade and 58 percent by the twelfth grade.
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