It’s a known fact that kids these days are having sex at an early age and now the School Committee in Springfield, Massachusetts has taken first-step approval in preparing to provides children 12-years and older access to free condoms. The school board hopes the plan will help prevent sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancy.
Known as the “Comprehensive Reproductive Health Policy” the first-stage acceptance passed with a vote of 5-1 and will require a second vote. The policy also includes a provision for mandatory counseling for students who ask to receive condoms.
According to the policy parents:
“Will be notified of condom availability in the schools and will have the opportunity to deny permission (opt out) for access to condoms for their student(s).”
This wouldn’t be the first city in the state to enact such a measure, Holyoke enacted a similar policy in 2004 that targeted middle school and high school students. While Holyoke still has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy’s in the state those numbers have fallen every single year since the school began offering free condoms to students.
The sole dissenting vote during the Springfield proposal was Peter Murphy who said he wasn’t comfortable offering condoms to 12-year-olds when the age of consent in the state is 16-years-old.
Students would be able to receive the condoms through school nurses and high schooled-based clinics and upon receiving the condoms students would receiving counseling that would include information about abstinence along with proper storage techniques for condoms.
According to one city officials the number one reason for teen dropouts in the United States is teenage pregnancy. A study revealed that a teen has a 27 percent chance of growing up in poverty if they give birth as a teen.
Do you think the school system in Springfield, Massachusetts is making the right decision in giving condoms to children as young as 12-years-old?