- Associated Press - Friday, December 22, 2017

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (AP) - School officials in the city of Niagara Falls have voted to approve a new health and sex education program.

The Niagara Falls City School Board voted 8-1 in favor of the overhaul at a meeting Thursday night. Superintendent Mark Laurrie says the new curriculum will include physical, mental and emotional health education.

Under the new program, students will learn about contraception and sexually transmitted diseases. The Community Health Center will also offer contraceptives and mental health services at Niagara Falls High School.

Laurrie says he was concerned with teen pregnancy rates in the city. He says the new program represents a “cultural shift” in the way educators approach teens.

Parents can choose to have their children opt out of a course.

The district hopes to start the program in February.

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