The school board for the San Francisco United School District voted unanimously to give condoms to middle school students when requested, and taking a cue from Democratic Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, they’re free.
This makes San Francisco the third district in California to make condoms available to students as young as age 11, according to Bay area NBC affiliate KNTV, which reported:
School officials say the policy change comes after survey results show that five percent of sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students report being sexually active and about half of that group say they are not using protection. The only other school districts in California that have such “condom availability programs” for middle schoolers are in Oakland and Los Angeles.
The plan is part of district’s effort to further prevent sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy among minors. It would work like this: Just as middle school students are allowed under California Family and Health and Safety codes to buy condoms at a store without question, they will now be able to get them for free at the nurse’s office on campus.
Students will have to ask for the condoms from a school professional, explained Kevin Gogin, the district’s director of safety and wellness. Parents, by law, will not be notified of such requests by their children and may not opt out of the program.
“This is not a giveaway program,” board member Rachel Norton said, SFGate.com reports. “They are going to be in a private, controlled space with an educator. This policy really is about the handful of students who really need it.”
As one would expect, many parents voiced their displeasure at the proposal.
The program “undermines the authority of the family,” said Victor Seeto, issues chairman of the Chinese American Democratic Club.
“The program’s message says sex is normal, is acceptable, but disease is bad,” he said. “Let us strengthen the family and not weaken it.”
Watch the report via KNTV.
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