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Where Do You Stand on Making Condoms Available in Schools?

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By , 16, Staff Writer Originally Published: July 16, 2015 Revised: July 16, 2015

During my freshman year, I had my first sexuality education class. I was excited and eager to start the class. I had an idea about how sex worked, but I wanted the full, in-depth explanation by a teacher. The course covered all the terms that I needed to know and methods for practicing safer sex, but I was a bit disappointed when they didn’t have condoms available for us after the condom demonstration.

Since schools help us prepare for the future through math, English and biology, why not help us care for our sexual health as well?

Condoms: Just Out of Reach

The guys in my class jokingly asked if they could take a couple of the unopened condoms to keep for “future use.” Our teacher laughed and told them no. Yet, I felt confused because as a sexuality education teacher it would benefit her students if she made condoms available, right? What if a student needed one because they were engaging in sexual behaviors with a partner but couldn’t get their hands on a box of condoms for some reason? If condoms would have been made available then that student would’ve received both a method of having safer sex and also knowledge on how to effectively use that method.

Dana Joukhai, 15, from Prospect Park, NJ agrees saying, “I believe that by providing teens with access to a barrier method like the condom and then educating them on [how to use] it will really benefit us.”

I think that teens might not buy condoms for a couple a reasons, such as the fact that condoms can be a bit expensive, or some teens may get embarrassed when going to make the purchase. Maybe they live in a small town where everyone knows each other, and they don’t want word of them going to buy condoms getting around to their parents. Some people think teens should just buy their own condoms or get them from a clinic. But maybe they can’t afford condoms, and there’s no free clinic in town. The point is that not all teens can get their hands on a pack of condoms as easily as some people think.

Promoting Condom Use or Sex

People may argue that the purpose of a sexuality education class is to provide information on topics such as safer sex and condoms, rather than to actually make condoms available. Others might be hesitant to have condoms available in high schools because they think it “promotes sex” or it’s like encouraging students to engage in sexual behaviors.

Nafijur Dalim, 18, from Hackensack, NJ says, “[Making condoms available] wouldn’t promote sex; students that haven’t had or aren’t having sex wouldn’t miraculously become sexually active. It would only promote safer sex.”

No one would be forcing every student to take condoms. Condoms would be available if a student needed them.

Lily Brock, 17, from Herndon, VA, says, “When many students are already sexually active, access to condoms will certainly increase the likelihood that they will practice sex safely.”

I don’t believe that by making condoms available teachers or school officials are promoting sex. They’re promoting safer sex, sexual health awareness and a method of preventing sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and pregnancy.

Chelsea Cirruzzo, 18, from Northport, NY, agrees saying that, “[Teens having sex] isn’t the problem; the problem is that, without proper education and resources, teens may be exposed to pregnancies and STDs.”

Even though there are adults concerned about making condoms available in schools, I couldn’t find any teens that think condoms should not be made available in schools. But I got lots of comments from teens that supported the idea of condoms being available during school hours. I think this shows that teens would appreciate having their schools take steps to ensure they have access to condoms if they need them.

Having condoms available just makes it easier for teens to practice safer sex. Since schools help us prepare for the future through math, English and biology, why not help us care for our sexual health as well? As a teen, I think schools should guide us in making informed, responsible decisions in all aspects of life, including sexuality, and I believe teens would benefit greatly if condoms were made available in schools.

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