Boston students demand better sex ed

Feb. 16, 2011 at 6:36 PM
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BOSTON, Feb. 16 (UPI) -- Boston teenagers crowded into a Boston City Council meeting requesting "Sex Education Now," a demand one councilor said would be taken seriously.

Hundreds of students attended Tuesday's meeting, many of whom held up signs with the message as they rallied for more meaningful sex education in public high schools and for making condoms more widely available, The Boston Globe reported.

Councilor Ayanna Pressley, who called the session, said it was important to let the students know their concerns are taken seriously and changes are being made.

Maggie McLean, a graduate student at Harvard, said she is concerned with "the current hookup culture" among teenagers, "but distributing condoms is not the solution."

Students need a sex-education program that gives them "the tools to resist a culture of casual sexual activity presented in the media," McLean, a member of Pure at Heart, a non-profit of young Catholic adults, said.

"Please make sure that sex ed in Boston Public Schools is truly comprehensive. Don't say, 'Be safe. Here's a condom,'" McLean said.

Hung Nguyen, 18, a senior at Snowden International School at Copley Square said he had sex education in sixth grade, "but it was like, 'This is a condom. This is what males use to prevent pregnancy.' We didn't really talk about sexually transmitted diseases."

Boston public schools provide sex education in the ninth grade, but the curriculum is not consistent throughout the schools, the Globe reported.

A group of nurses, social workers and students is creating a new curriculum, some parts of which are already in progress, said the school system's health education program director, Barbara Huscher-Cohen.

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