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Nearly two years (report released on June 22nd 2003) after a damning report on HIV education in school, the city has yet to implement a new curriculum, charged Assemblymember Scott Stringer (D-Manhattan) at a press conference last week. His report found that 75 percent of school districts violated at least one state or city mandate for K-8 health education on HIV/AIDS, sex education and “family living.” The report also disclosed that 63 percent of school districts did not have teachers trained to the standards required by K-8 legislation, and that 70 percent could not properly define what the mandate required of them. The city DOE has apparently updated the curriculum, but the chancellor has yet to approve it. A DOE spokesperson could not explain why the new curriculum has taken two years to be put into practice, but said that it was expected to be introduced in the fall. According to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, seven percent, or 659 of new NYC cases of HIV in 2003 were among youth aged 13 to 24; and close to 30 percent of New York’s adolescents failed to use a condom the last time they engaged in sexual intercourse. “By not teaching our children prevention, we are leaving them unprotected,” said Stringer. “A curriculum collecting dust is meaningless to our students.” -D. Bell [03/07/05]

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