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NYC Approves AIDS Curriculum For Kindergarten Through Grade Six

June 25, 1992

NEW YORK (AP) _ Fourth-graders will learn about condoms under New York’s new AIDS- prevention curriculum, but the Board of Education drew the line at telling them about anal intercourse or cleaning hypodermic needles.

After a raucous public hearing, the board voted 5-0 on Wednesday to approve the curriculum, with two members abstaining.

The AIDS curriculum covers kindergartners through sixth-graders, although condoms aren’t introduced until fourth grade. An earlier curriculum plan was rejected in May by board members who wanted the material to stress abstinence over prevention.

In the hope of reaching a compromise, Schools Chancellor Joseph Fernandez revised the material to delete references to anal intercourse, contraceptive creams and cleaning of needles.

The fight against the AIDS lessons was led by the board’s conservative vice president, Irene Impellizzeri, who proposed an amendment that would keep teachers from talking about condoms until the seventh grade.

In the past Impellizzeri tried and failed to stop the board from making condoms available on demand to high school students. She and board member Michael Petrides abstained from voting.

About 170 people signed up to speak at the hearing at Board of Education headquarters in Brooklyn. Each speaker was greeted by yelling, booing and hissing, and most had to scream to be heard.

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