Condom Availability in High Schools across the Country
Andrew W. Sampaio
Tiverton High School
In 1991 the New York City Board of Education created a program to make condoms accessible to all high school students upon request. The program caused parental disagreement and the school board was taken to court. Parents claimed that making condoms available to students was a health service and could not be provided to students. The board argued that the condom plan was not a medical service. They explained it was one part of a comprehensive educational program that did not require direct parental consent. The school board lost the case. The program may have survived had the case been heard by the New York State Supreme Court "Massachusetts is the most significant, it is the highest court to address the issue, and it rejects,...... the claim that condom availability interferes with parental liberties" (Karen Mahler). In 1977 the United States denied a New York State Law prohibiting the distribution or sale of non-prescription contraceptives to teens under the age of 16. The United States Supreme Court seems to have support for the condom availability program. With teen pregnancy rates and the number of STD’s reported in teens on the rise, schools are beginning to realize that the parents are not doing their job when it comes to sexual education. The school system already has classes on sexual education; these classes are based mainly on human anatomy. Most schools do not teach their students about relationships, morals, respect, self-discipline, self-respect, and most importantly contraceptives. Everyday students engage in sexual activity, many of them without condoms. This simple act jeopardizes these students’ futures and possibly their lives. An increasing amount of school systems are starting to combine messages involving abstinence from sexual activity, and expanding availability of contraceptives, especially condoms. Schools are now stepping in to further...
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