Boston school officials are considering a policy change to provide condoms in every public high school across the city in an effort to curb teenage pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted infections.
Currently, only high schools with health centers are permitted to pass out condoms, but the proposed change could see that expanded to each of the city’s three dozen high schools, The Boston Globe reported.
Under the proposal, students who want to get condoms would first have to receive counseling about safe sex practices. Parents could also exempt their children from obtaining them.
“We are not talking about bowls of condoms,” said Jill Carter, executive director of health and wellness for Boston Public Schools. “We want to make condoms available with education and support, and we want them available equitably across the district and for students to feel comfortable that they can go to someone they trust.”
The proposal was discussed at a committee meeting on Wednesday as part of a new comprehensive health and wellness policy that also included new physical education requirements. According to the Globe, none of the committee members raised objections to making condoms more widely available.
“Many students are uncomfortable with going to a store and purchasing condoms and would prefer getting them free from school,” student Ciboney Cope testified during the meeting. “Protecting students should be our top priority.”