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Budget, Education & City Services

Presentation by Planned Parenthood re: Increasing access to sex education for every New York City student

WHEREAS, New York City's teen pregnancy rates are higher than the national average.  U.S. teens have higher rates of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections than teens in most developed nations; and

WHEREAS, 15-to-24 year-olds represent only one-quarter of the sexually active population, yet they account for nearly half of all new sexually transmitted infection's each year; and

WHEREAS, CB5 is covered by two sections used by the United Hospital Fund to measure teen pregnancy, area 306 - Chelsea-Clinton and area 307- Gramercy Park-Murray Hill; and

WHEREAS, In 2007, 5.4% of young women ages 15-19 in area 306 became pregnant (1 in 18).  3% of young women ages 15-19 in area 307 became pregnant; and

WHEREAS, Chelseahas the city's HIGHEST Gonorrhea rate for young men ages 15-19, with .9% of male teens contracting the disease in 2008; and the city's 2nd highest Gonorrhea rate for young women ages 15-19, with 1.4% of female teens contracting the disease in 2008; Chelsea also has the city's 7th highest Chlamydia rate for young women ages 15-19, with 1 in 12 female teens contracting the disease in 2008; the city's 4th highest Chlamydia rate for young men ages 15-19, with about 1 in 30 male teens contracting the disease in 2008; while in Gramercy/Murray Hill, 1.4% of young women ages 15-19  and .6% of young men ages 15-19 contracted  Chlymadia in 2008 and.17% of young women ages 15-19 and .16% of young men ages 15-19 contracted Gonorrhea in 2008; and

WHEREAS, Half of all new HIV infections in the United States occur among people under the age of 25; and Chelsea-Clinton has 167.5 HIV diagnoses per 100,000 population (the highest in the City) and,

WHEREAS, According to the New York City Department of Health, about half of high school students say they've had sex, about one in three high school students are currently sexually active; and

WHEREAS, Only two-thirds of New York City's sexually active youth report using condoms, and one in five girls did not use any birth control the last time they had sex; and

WHEREAS, Research shows comprehensive sex education programs delay the initiation of sex and increase the use of contraception. It has also shown to reduce the number of sexual partners, and increase condom and contraceptive use; and

WHEREAS, the proposed sex education curriculum includes education around Intimate Partner Violence, behavior that is statistically on the rise among teenagers; and

WHEREAS, An overwhelming majority of parents support sex education and believe it's already being taught. A full 77% of registered voters in New York State mistakenly think sex education is currently a part of the required school curriculum, while an even larger 85% want comprehensive sex education to be taught in school, according to a poll recently conducted by Hart Research Associates; and

WHEREAS, Neither New York City nor New York State require or fund comprehensive sex education to be taught in schools. In New York City, whether sex education is taught, when it's taught, how often and by whom is up to each individual principal; and

WHEREAS, The New York City Department of Education has a recommended sex education curriculum and offers the curriculum and training to schools free of charge; and

WHEREAS, according to New York State law, any parent who does not wish to have their child given sex education in NYC schools can send a note to the principal requesting they not be taught sex education and,

WHEREAS, Planned Parenthood New York City (PPNYC) has been in New York City for over 90 years providing confidential health care services to the women, men and teens of New York City regardless of their ability to pay as well as innovative educational workshops on sex education, peer education, technical assistance, and professional training to communities throughout the city; and

WHEREAS, PPNYC launched "We're Going to the Principals Office" campaign in the fall of 2009. This campaign sets out to empower local parents with the tools they need to effectively advocate for medically accurate, age-appropriate sex education within their own public school; therefore be it

RESOLVED, that Community Board Five supports Planned Parenthood of New York City's "We're Going to the Principals" campaign as a method to empower parents to advocate for sex education in their individual schools with their principals with the ultimate goal of increasing access to sex education for every New York City student.

The above resolution passed with a vote of 34 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 abstention.

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