Health education is an essential academic subject that provides students with a wide range of skills that they can rely on for life. In New York State, all students at all grade levels must receive comprehensive health education that builds critical decision-making, goal setting, and social and emotional skills. Students also practice communication and relationship skills, such as setting and protecting boundaries, consent, negotiation, and resisting negative social pressure.
Health education teachers are a vital part of the school community, helping to foster a safe and supportive environment and serving as a trusted resource for students and families.
The New York City Department of Education requires all students in grades 6-12 to receive sexual health education as part of comprehensive health education. Sexual health education must be age appropriate, skills-based, and medically accurate. At the high school level, teachers and other school staff work together to create a welcoming Health Resource Room where students can receive information, referrals to health services, and condoms to support them in making safe and healthy decisions.
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