Dozens of progressive advocacy groups this month are urging state lawmakers to approve a measure meant to broaden New York's sex education in classrooms to become more inclusive, with the goal of reducing sexual harassment and assault.
The measure, which has the backing of organizations like the New York Civil Liberties Union, the New Pride Agenda and NARAL Action Council, would require the state to have "comprehensive" and age-appropriate sexuality instruction curricula for grades K through 12 in the state.
The measure also has the backing of groups opposing domestic violence as well as health care organizations.
"This critically important measure would require public and charter schools to teach age-appropriate, medically accurate and inclusive sex education in grades K-12. Comprehensive Sex Education is about so much more than the birds and the bees: it is a critical tool for building a culture of consent, preventing sexual assault and violence, promoting inclusive school communities and improving educational outcomes," the groups wrote in the letter to top state lawmakers in the state Senate and Assembly.
The bill, advocates wrote, can help reduce sexual harassment and sexual violence — an "upstream" policy of curtailing negative outcomes years from now.
"Governor Hochul has promised a new day in Albany – one that will be harassment-free," the groups wrote. "Passing CSE is an important step legislators can take now to prevent sexual harassment in our classrooms and communities. In fact, it is the only upstream tool available to prevent sexual harassment before it occurs."