The Catholic Church Has No Business Sending Public School Students Off Campus For Sex-Ed

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shutterstock_98796905__1365426082_70.118.110.28New York City began mandating sex education in public schools in the second semester of the 2011-2012 school year. Too bad some of these schools have to do a proverbial walk-of-shame to pass on the necessary information to their students. The Archdiocese of New York is a controlling landlord. The dozens of buildings it rents to the public school system are designated no sex education zones. How ridiculous.

The 2011 mandate required schools to include sexual health education as part of comprehensive health education. Sex education lessons for middle school students and high school students was included in the already mandated health education course. Fantastic. Public school students are getting important information about sexual health and education. But what kind of message are we sending to those students that have to travel off campus to absorb mandatory curriculum? The Daily News reports:

As a result of a longstanding but little-known agreement between church and city officials, dozens of city schools that lease church-owned buildings must take students off site for sex education.

The unusual arrangement rankles some parents and students who believe students should get sex ed and lessons about HIV/AIDS — which are mandated by law — in their home classrooms.

“It’s crazy,” said Tayshawn Edmonds, 15, of Brooklyn, a 10th-grader at El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice in Williamsburg. The school is housed in a church building on Hooper St. that it rents for $649,000 a year.

To receive annual sex ed lessons, Edmonds and his classmates must trek across the neighborhood to El Puente’s offices at 211 S. Fourth St. The trip takes about 15 minutes on foot.

Fifteen minutes on foot? So the students are taking a half hour out of their days to travel to a secondary location to be taught a mandated course? I guess it’s more important for the Catholic church to engage in the fantasy that sex education is the work of the devil than to give our students a full day’s curriculum. What a crock.

The city has rented space from the Archdiocese of New York since 2005. The no sex ed policy has always been in place. The Daily News reports that this year alone, the city Education Department “will pay more than $27 million in rent for 40 public schools housed in parochial school buildings.”

Parents are pissed and I don’t blame them. They don’t like the idea of their kids being forced off of school grounds for mandated lessons. I, for one, would be annoyed that a church had a say in what my public school student was learning on school grounds. Yet another example of why the Catholic church really needs to join us all in this century.

(photo: GOLFX/