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Should Free Condoms Be Available at Local High Schools?

Some high schools on the Peninsula have policies allowing distribution of condoms to students. But what about Half Moon Bay High?

In January, the Jefferson Union High School District (JUHSD) board of trustees unanimously approved making condoms available in the high schools, which includes Oceana High School and Terra Nova High School in Pacifica.

The conceptual policy is being drafted by staff and will be presented to the board for final approval at a later date, according to a Pacifica Tribune article. The current policy allows students to receive condoms, but only if given to them by a licensed health care practitioner at the Daly City Youth Health Center.

The new policy will make it easier for the students to get condoms through the special services counselors at each of the schools.

In the Tribune article, Melissa Ambrose, special services counselor at Oceana High School, said she was in favor of having condoms available in her office.

Kimberly Gillette, director of the Daly City Youth Health Center, said "Condom availability does not increase sexual activity, but it may make them more likely to use a condom." Read the full report in the Tribune article here.

According to the STD Community Interventions Program (SCIP) of the California Department of Health Services, only 3 of every 5 sexually active teens (15 – 19 years of age) used a condom at last sexual intercourse and 1 of every 4 sexually active teens in California will get an STD this year, which is about 325,000 teens getting an STD this year. Also, nearly 80 percent of adolescent pregnancies are the results of contraceptive failure or nonuse.

JUHSD Board President Tom Nuris, whose sons attend Terra Nova, initially took the position of a reluctant parent and asked the board to weigh the pros and cons.

"We have to make a decision that's right for the community. How do we deal with the backlash?" he said in the Tribune article. "There are people out there who don't agree with this."

Sequoia Union High School District, which includes Woodside High School, has policies since 2002 allowing distribution of condoms in some high schools.

When it comes to the Cabrillo Unified School District, the Pacifica Tribune article reports that at Half Moon Bay High School, a public health nurse can meet the student at a convenient location to distribute condoms.

However, Cabrillo Unified School District Superintendent Tony Roehrick says, “The public health nurses are county employees and are not connected to our district. If they are doing this [for Half Moon Bay High students], and I have no knowledge that they are, then they are doing so through their own channels. We are not a part of that process.”

Half Moon Bay High School, according to Roehrick, does not offer condoms to students.

“It is not something that we have talked about," said Roehrick, "and if we were to consider doing so, it would include a great deal of engagement and input from our community and Governing Board."

Do you support the JUHSD decision? Do you think the Cabrillo Unified School District should also consider making condoms available to Half Moon Bay High School students? Why?

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Laura C. Strom February 11, 2013 at 06:45 PM
High schools should absolutely have condoms available. It does not encourage sex. It encourages less teen pregnancy, disease, and conversations with a responsible, caring person (the counselor or nurse distributing them) around taking care of one's self. It is much better for kids to have real information that is good, accurate, and scientifically sound, upon which they can make an informed choice. Simply telling kids not to have sex doesn't work. Teaching them how to best care for themselves and their sexual partners will help them lifelong. Good for the JUHSD for making a choice to help protect and educate their students! I think it shows great leadership.
Adrian Smith February 11, 2013 at 07:04 PM
Great idea. Like it or not high school kids experiment with sex. Let's keep them safe while they do. It's just being pragmatic.
Jo Tog February 11, 2013 at 07:58 PM
Should free books be offered at high schools? yes. but many schools refuse to hand them out. Now we have schools who want to ban algebra simply because it is too hard to teach. What's the answer? Free condoms. Brilliant.
Bren February 12, 2013 at 06:49 AM
As usual, Jo Tog, you are posting crap that has no basis in reality. I am not aware of any school anywhere that wants to "ban" algebra for any reason. Do you get all your talking points from mass e-mails your grandmother forwarded to you?
Jo Tog February 12, 2013 at 05:11 PM
No. I get my info off of Pacifica Patch.
Christa Bigue (Editor) February 12, 2013 at 05:58 PM
The algebra story you are referring to was posted on Pacifica Patch last week. "Problem Solved? 8th Grade Math Curriculum May Change in Pacifica" can be read here: http://patch.com/A-1Ddl
Bren February 12, 2013 at 08:05 PM
Thanks for the link, Christa. Jo Tog, I don't see anything in that article about algebra being banned. The model of reality you seem to be pushing is one in which our schools are being intentionally dummed down as part of an evil liberal conspiracy. The article in question does not in any way support your model of reality.
Bren February 12, 2013 at 09:39 PM
Jo Tog, are you saying you don't want young girls to have access to the morning after pill? Really? You want to force teenaged girls to give birth to babies they don't want? What kind of sicko are you?
Bren February 12, 2013 at 10:26 PM
So you think you're entitled to dictate to girls and women that they MUST research "all options," i.e., having the baby, even when they know that's not what they want to do. Where do you get such hubris, Jo Tog?
etrap February 14, 2013 at 04:12 PM
I think it is a good idea. We aren't going to stop some teenagers from being sexually active so we should help them to be safe and responsible.
Baxter Bees February 16, 2013 at 11:43 PM
You know what encourages teenagers to have sex? Everything around them. We need to educate kids about consent, safety, enforcing their own boundaries, and what's available to them. We need to stop being the problems in their lives and become the solutions- to help them to become better people who respect eachother and themselves. The world is only going to become a tougher place to live in.
Baxter Bees February 16, 2013 at 11:49 PM
You're a parent, not a doctor. This article is about condoms, arguably the cheapest form of birth control. Not hormonal birth control pills. If you think putting drugs into children's bodies isn't safe, you need to sit down and understand that that's what modern medicine is, and that's how lives are saved. You need to stop inventing reasons for people to not have access to their own damn reproductive rights and realize that you do not get to choose what people do to their bodies.
Bren February 16, 2013 at 11:58 PM
I wonder if Jo Tog is also against vaccines?
Bren April 23, 2013 at 12:49 AM
So Jo Tog, I continue to get notifications that you've posted comments today, yet when I click the links, I see very old comments from you, but with today's date on them. I can only conclude that your account got flagged and deleted, and all of your posts disappeared with it, and you've therefore made a new account, and are furiously re-posting all your deleted comments. That you had backup copies of all your deleted comments is kind of stunning, dude.
Jo Tog April 23, 2013 at 01:06 AM
No they didn't you little fucking puke. Fuck off and DIE.
Jo Tog April 23, 2013 at 01:07 AM
I don't know who the fuck you think you are but I am here to tell you , you ain't nobody you little fucking commie.
Bren April 23, 2013 at 01:22 AM
Wow, Jo Tog, you are really losing it! So, if all your posts didn't get deleted, and you're not re-posting them, then could you please explain why they all have today's date on them, even though they're very old posts? It's most curious.
VC April 23, 2013 at 01:28 AM
Brenda's paranoid obsession with Jo Tog and other conservatives who have posted on Patch at first was just annoying. But now it has reached critical mass. Her latest postings have all of the earmarks, and the pathology, of a deeply disturbed individual crying for help. Brenda, I strongly recommend you take what ever savings you have accumulated by living in your parent's garage and investing them in a good therapist. Please, get well. This is not a joke!
Bren April 23, 2013 at 05:35 AM
Hi Vince! What do you think of Jo Tog's outburst? It seems out of character for him.
Justin April 23, 2013 at 08:56 PM
Watch your language,JoTog. Your anger is getting the best of you. Your credibility is shot, and you're really coming across as one of those wingnuts with the foil hat who stands on a corner shouting Socialism. A miserable little wretch.
Justin April 23, 2013 at 08:58 PM
Bren--yeah I noticed that too. He is really losing it more and more each day. Once he started saying the president is not a citizen, I knew he either stopped taking his meds, or needs more. We must pity the wretch.
Justin April 23, 2013 at 08:59 PM
Vince is back! BRENDA and JUSTINA are, too LOL
Bren April 23, 2013 at 11:05 PM
If Jo Tog had only one account, he probably would watch his language, because he wouldn't want to get banned for failing to follow Patch's Terms Of Service. The fact that he would post something practically crying out for Patch admin to ban him makes it pretty clear he doesn't care if that particular account gets deleted.

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