Brooklyn HS Planned 500 Condoms Giveaway At Prom May Violate Education Policy
Do we want schools giving our teens choices to have sex even if its safe sex?
Bedford-Stuyvesant Preparatory High School in Brooklyn, N.Y. will make 500 condoms available at the school’s June 7 prom. “As they leave the prom, they are welcome to it,” school principal Darryl Rascoe said in an interview. “We are not forcing it on anybody, but we want them to have that option.”
Handing out free condoms as part of the festivities is a wrong move, says Valerie Huber, executive director of the National Abstinence Education Association, an advocacy group that resists comprehensive sex education in schools. “We are concerned that the distribution of condoms on school campuses further normalizes teen sex,” she told msnbc.com via email.
Principal Rascoe says he’s unaware of any opposition to the prom condom plan. Bedford-Stuyvesant Prep, a small, “transfer” school of about 130 students which teens attend after having had academic, disciplinary, or other difficulties elsewhere, conducts safe sex forums and already distributes condoms through sex education initiatives. Other New York City high school allow students to request free condoms as part of HIV/AIDS prevention programs. The Brooklyn school also houses one of New York City Schools’ “Lyfe” (Living for the Young Family through Education) centers, a day-care facility for the young children of current students.
The prom condom distribution plan will be accompanied by a safe sex school assembly sponsored by the condom maker a few days before the prom. An essay contest on the topic of safe sex will be judged by the school’s English department.
We think this is an issue that the parents need to have discussed with their children even before the prom event. Even though it is probably still not a comfortable subject to talk about, it should come from the home first. We think that any teenager would take the condom giveaway as an excuse to have sex even if they may not have planned to after the prom. It will make them think about having sex at a later date as well and besides; what ever happened to abstinence? How about pushing that idea instead? These schools have no business issuing out condoms without an unanimous vote that parents agree to it. Shame on Principal Rascoe. We can see his intentions but is it really the schools’ responsibility to tell a teen that it’s o.k. to have sex?
UPDATE: The principal of Bedford-Stuyvesant Preparatory High School told ABC that condoms would not be available after the dance, saying he did not want to violate Education Department policy. “I don’t want to do anything against DOE policy,” Rascoe said.
So, you don’t say?