The Oregonian (Portland) (01.14.12) - Wednesday, January 18,
The Tigard-Tualatin School District has scheduled two sessions
this month to hear feedback on a plan to begin offering
contraceptive services at the district's health center. The
sessions will be held Jan. 21 at 10 a.m. and Jan. 26 at 6:30
p.m. in the Tigard High School Library, 9000 S.W. Durham Rd.
The School-Based Health Center at Tigard High already offers
reproductive health services, including STD testing and
treatment and pregnancy testing. The proposed changes would
add prescription birth control and condoms.
The center has been open since 2008. An advisory committee
recommended in 2007 that it not offer contraceptives, but it
said the issue would be revisited the next year. "At the time,
we wanted to start out conservatively because it was a new
venture," explained Jill Zurschmeide, a member of the Tigard-
Tualatin School Board. "It's an emotional issue for a lot of
people, but I don't think it's sensible to ignore it any
Zurschmeide, who favors having birth control available to
students, hopes changes will be in place by next school year.
But community input will direct any service changes, she
stressed. "I want to do nothing to jeopardize the community's
support for the health center," she said. "We need to reflect
The clinic, operated by the Virginia Garcia Memorial Health
Center, has a sliding-scale payment system and is primarily
self-funded, said district spokesperson Susan Stark Haydon.
More than 1,300 appointments were accommodated last year.
In the 1990s, students in the district asked for condom
vending machines in restrooms, but there was not enough
community support to move forward with that request, said