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 ‚Äúvery concerned‚ÄĚ about the new proposal. ‚ÄúYoung people deserve far better from their educators and their community leaders than a misguided and unfortunate proposal to make condoms readily available,‚ÄĚ 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.
Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/health/blog/2013/06/19/boston-schools-voting-on-putting-condoms/