Philadelphia High Schools Get Condom Dispensers
Condoms have been distributed at some Philadelphia high schools for years, but now they're available in more schools as a result of a partnership between the city and the school district, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Over Christmas break, condom dispensers were installed at 11 high schools that either have a high rate of sexually transmitted diseases or an existing "health resource center" that provides sexual education to students. Parents can sign forms opting their students out of the free condom program, though it appears that staff won't be checking to make sure parents are OK with their students obtaining condoms. City officials say the condom program is part of a strategy to combat both high STD rates among teens and an alarming rise of HIV infection among teens. However, the National Abstinence Education Association has grave concerns. According to NAEA president Valerie Huber, the sex-ed priorities of Philadelphia public schools undermine parental rights and compromise the optimal sexual health of its students. "Teens deserve better," Huber said, "and we hope that parents in Philadelphia schools demand a change in current policies."