Should condoms be available in elementary school?
The Cape Cod public school district in Massachusetts passed a policy regarding the issuance of condoms to its students. The policy goes into effect in the fall of 2010. It authorizes the distribution of free condoms to all public school students in the district without the knowledge of their parents. This includes students in elementary school.
The policy has generated a heated debate over student privacy rights, the role of education and parents’ rights. Any student who requests a condom from the school nurse must first receive counseling which includes information on abstinence. A spokesperson for the District said that despite the wording of the policy, it would be applied practically. The nurse would ask the student a series of questions and likely deny the request.
Does your school issue free condoms? Is this a subject covered in your Student Handbook? Do you think it’s something schools should be involved with or should it be left to the parents and their kids? What do you think about elementary school children becoming sexually active? Is it a subject you can talk about with your younger brothers and sisters?
Read more about parental consent for birth control here.
In March, 2012, the Springfield School Community in Massachusetts voted to provide condoms for students starting at age 12. Parents can opt out of the program that also includes counseling on abstinence. Supporters argue that the program has reduced sexual activity among teenagers. The Comprehensive Reproductive Health Policy is designed to help prevent sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy.
A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in July, 2012 indicated that about 60% of sexually active high school students say they used a condom the last time they had sex. This is up from 46% reported in 1991, but down from 63% reported in 2003. The average age when teens begin having sex is 16 according to the CDC while the percent reporting having sex is down to 47% from 54% in 1991.