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Condoms in school: Naughty — or nice?

Distributing condoms in schools is always a touchy subject, a lesson City Councilor Felix G. Arroyo learned before he was even a teen himself.

Distributing condoms in schools is always a touchy subject, a lesson City Councilor Felix G. Arroyo learned before he was even a teen himself.

“My neighbors threw condoms at us when me and my brothers were playing in the backyard,” said Arroyo, whose father was on the School Committee when condoms first became available at Boston schools in the 1990s.

Arroyo supports his colleague Ayanna Pressley’s hearing order to examine BPS’ sex education programs, including student access to condoms.

“I’m not talking about condoms in a bowl sitting in a rec room,” Pressley said. “That would be irresponsible.”

Condoms are currently available at eight high schools with city-run health centers. Parental consent is needed to use the centers, but not explicitly to obtain condoms. Disturbing stats about chlamydia among Boston’s female teens prompted Pressley to call the hearing, which will be in January or early February.

“I didn’t consider the potential controversial nature of this or the need to tread lightly,” Pressley said. “The welfare and wellbeing of the students is too important.”

Pressley said the initiative has plenty of support and noted that BPS just created a long-overdue Health and Wellness department.

 
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