The Stylus (Brockport, N.Y.) (03.12.13)
The Rochester City School Board in Rochester, N.Y., has recently made a controversial decision to allow public schools in the city area to provide birth control and condoms to school students. A new program will have students participate in counseling sessions with the school nurse, where they will discuss how to prevent pregnancy and the potential consequences of risky sexual behavior. Students are additionally required to attend a class that provides education on STDs before they are given any types of birth control.
While some parents are objecting, stating that it is not the school’s role to educate students about sex, city school officials hope the new policy will reduce teen pregnancies by 30 percent and the number of teens with STDs by 50 percent over the next school year. Historically, little or no information about sex has been provided within school walls, leading to a number of myths among teens. According to statistics published in Rochester’s Democrat and Chronicle, the area’s Monroe County saw 1,555 girls between the ages of 15 and 17 become teenage mothers between 2008 and 2010. Although parents may think that by discussing condoms and birth control with their teens they may seem to be giving permission to have sex, they are really giving them the information that they need to make informed choices about how to behave responsibly.