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?