This week the New York Department of Education has announced it will allow high schools to demonstrate condom use in the classroom.
In a statement, the NYDOE said, “Condom demonstrations have long been part of the high school condom availability programs and have been shown to increase rates of condom use. Allowing condom demonstrations in high school health education class will provide students with medically accurate information that can help them stay healthy.”
But condoms are not the cure-all the city suggests they are. They do little to protect against sexually transmitted diseases like Chlamydia and Gonorrhea that can cause infertility and other physical damage. Unless the city is also teaching risk avoidance techniques, it is failing our young people.
A recent New York Post article reports that more and more New York teens are actually choosing to delay sexual activity. In fact, the percentage of young people engaging in sex dropped 6% in just the last two years which experts say is due to education on the risks of early sex and sexually transmitted diseases.
We’ve made progress but it’s not enough. While parents will be able to opt out of this new condom demonstration program, they must do so via a letter sent home with their child. New York’s public school should focus on risk avoidance approach to sex education, rather than the risk reduction approach these condom demonstrations exemplify.
Students should be encouraged to keep up the trend toward waiting to become sexually active. It’s the best way to ensure their success in education and in life. These classroom condom shows are a vote of no confidence in our kids. That’s a shame.