Sex-Ed To Begin In Kindergarten In Chicago

By Emma Koch

Sex-Ed To Begin In Kindergarten In Chicago

March 1, 2013 Updated Nov 6, 2013 at 6:02 PM EDT

CHICAGO, Ill (www.incnow.tv) -- Chicago is overhauling their public school system's sexual health program and a part of the plan is to provide sexual education beginning in kindergarten.

Wednesday, the Chicago Board of Education passed a new policy that mandates a set amount of time be spent on sex education for every grade starting in kindergarten. Most U.S. public schools start sex ed in the 5th grade.

“It is important that we provide students of all ages with accurate and appropriate information so they can make healthy choices in regards to their social interactions, behaviors and relationships,” Barbara Byrd-Bennett, the CEO of the Chicago Public School System, said in a statement. “By implementing a new sexual health education policy, we will be helping them to build a foundation of knowledge that can guide them not just in the preadolescent and adolescent years, but throughout their lives."

The new policy is set to begin within two years and begins by teaching kindergarteners the basics about anatomy, reproduction, healthy relationships and personal safety.

1st, 2nd and 3rd graders will focus on the family, feelings and appropriate and inappropriate touching. 4th graders will begin to learn about puberty and HIV.

Starting in fifth grade and continuing until senior year of high school, students will learn more about reproduction, the transmission and prevention of HIV/AIDS and other sexually-transmitted diseases, bullying, contraception and abstinence.

Also the formal education will include sexual orientation and gender identity for the first time in Chicago history.

Reports say that parents or guardians of students can choose to opt their child out of the sexual health education program.

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