A new policy passed by the Chicago Public School Board of Education in December will go into effect when children return to school this year, which will give students aged 10 and up access to 250 condoms per elementary school; high schools are required to have 1,000 on hand. The policy also ensures that students have menstrual products, masks, and other health products.
CPS doctor Kenneth Fox told the Chicago Sun-Times, "I would expect that not everybody is going to be completely on board right from the start, but I do think society has changed." He added, "Young people have the right to accurate and clear information to make healthy decisions. They need access to resources to protect their health and the health of others as they act on those decisions."
Fox also stated, "Essentially what we want to do is make condoms available to students for if and when they think they need them… When you don’t have those protections and don’t make those resources available then bad stuff happens to young people. You have elevated risks of sexually transmitted infections, of unintended pregnancies, and that’s very preventable stuff."
Scout Bratt, an outreach and education director at the Chicago Women’s Health Center, added that the policy is "a harm reduction approach."
Bratt went on to explain, "I want to be really clear that the existence of condoms does not mean that all students are going to be using those condoms or encouraged to use them." He also stated that CPS wants children to have free access to condoms instead of not using them or having to go elsewhere to find them.
Source: Chicago Sun-Times