20 Years Later, Sex Ed Back in NYC Schools Starting this fall, sex ed will be mandatory, beginning as early as 6th grade By Sarah Whitmire, Newser Staff Posted Aug 10, 2011 11:18 AM CDT 17 comments Comments Uncomfortable lectures and diagrams will return to NYC classrooms this fall. (Shutterstock) (Newser) – Mandatory sex education has been on hiatus for almost 20 years in New York City, but it's officially back. The move comes as part of a much larger effort, announced last week by the Bloomberg administration, to better the lives of black and Latino teens, the New York Times reports. Statistics show that underage pregnancies are on the rise, particularly among those groups. Now, public school students will be required to take two semesters of sex ed, one in 6th or 7th grade, and another in 9th or 10th. Among the lessons, which will be taught in co-ed classes: how and why to use a condom, and the right age for sexual activity. Kids as young as 11 will be part of conversations about things like puberty, pregnancy, and the risks of unprotected sex—though parents can remove their children from the lessons on birth-control methods.