Teen pregnancies may be down locally, but sexually transmitted diseases are not. And the threat of HIV/AIDS is still very real.

Sex education must be considered a matter of life and death.

Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley is to be applauded for her no-nonsense embrace of this issue.

We urge City Hall — and parents — to support expanded sexual education together with condom distribution.


SCHOOL DAZE

Boston School Superintendent Carol Johnson had the courage and intellectual honesty to develop an admittedly painful plan to close or merge underperforming and underenrolled schools.

The school committee, chaired by Reverend Gregory Groover, after anguished and often heated consideration had the guts to endorse Johnson's plan.

The goal is to begin to save tens of millions of dollars as soon as possible, so that more draconian cuts will not be necessary in the future.

Now comes the Black Educators' Alliance of Massachusetts and the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law of the Boston Bar Association, alleging that the Johnson-Groover plan is a racial travesty, unfair to black and Hispanic students and families.

The educators and lawyers are undoubtedly well-intentioned, but they should get real. Boston is now a city of color where non-whites are in a majority. The public schools represent this fact. They are 77 percent black and Latino.

It is true that 90 percent of the students affected by the closings are minority, the other 10 percent are white or other races. But in a huge system, it is next to impossible to calibrate to the nearest decimal.

The underperforming schools are being closed to give their students a better education. That they happen to be predominately minority is beside the point.

The teachers and lawyers should have their heads examined if they think Johnson and Groover, both of whom are African-American, are out to shortchange minority students.

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