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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
Fernandez Revises His AIDS Curriculum Proposal
Tabor, Mary B. W.
June 24, 1992
New York Times (06/24/92), P. B3

In the hopes of turning controversy into compromise, New York City Schools Chancellor Joseph A. Fernandez released revisions to his AIDS curriculum, which initially prompted a debate over how to teach the city's elementary school children about the disease. The Board of Education's last meeting on Friday night ended in shouting and accusations. Fernandez's revisions emphasize sexual abstinence, leave out references to contraceptive creams and anal intercourse, and omit information on cleaning needles and syringes from fourth- and fifth-grade lessons. So far, the board has been unable to reach a compromise on how to educate children in first through sixth grades on such topics. In May, the controversy began after the board narrowly passed a resolution ordering Fernandez to ensure that abstinence was emphasized in all materials used to teach students about AIDS. Disputes over wording and references threaten to postpone a resolution to the curriculum issue indefinitely. The last meeting was ended abruptly by the board's president after almost two hours of debate when Dr. Irene H. Impellizzeri proposed an amendment that would prevent teachers from discussing condoms until the seventh grade. The proposal was not included in the revised curriculum, which requires students to be taught about condoms starting in the fourth grade.