School Board Voting on Condoms in High Schools
Tonight’s vote will also address healthy vending machines, bullying, and physical activity measures.
The Boston School Committee is voting on a new health policy tonight that would make condoms available in district high schools. The agenda provided by Boston Public Schools covers a broad range of health initiatives like school food nutrition, new physical activity guidelines, creating a healthier environment by using green cleaning products and developing recycling programs, creating safer schools by implementing stricter penalties for bullying and sexual harassment, and finally, the only measure anyone is really talking about (unfortunately, because they are all good), distributing condoms in high schools. So far, there has not been any backlash against the measure, except one statement from the Archdiocese of Boston.
According to the New York Times:
The change was presented this month at a hearing. No one testified against it, and school committee members did not raise criticisms of it.
The Archdiocese of Boston, however, said in a statement that it is “very concerned” about the new proposal. “Young people deserve far better from their educators and their community leaders than a misguided and unfortunate proposal to make condoms readily available,” it read.
According to a 2009 report by the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC), 54 percent of Boston public high school students reported that they were having or have had sex. If approved, the new health policy would make condoms accessible in high schools from community health service partners, the BPHC, or appropriate school staff. Health education and counseling will also be provided to those who request condoms, and parents will be able to exempt their children from receiving condoms.
Basically this means that condoms won’t just be put in a bowl in the hallway for everyone to take. Teachers won’t be passing them out in baskets. There won’t be any condom vending machines. This isn’t some awful ’90s teen movie where the teachers rap their lectures and condoms flow freely though the cafeteria. What this is, however, is the school board finally stepping up to realize that teens are having sex. And in order to prevent unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, teaching high schoolers about condom use is a step in the right direction.