As part of a policy passed in December by the Chicago Public Schools’ Board of Education, schools that teach fifth grade and up must maintain condom availability as part of an expanded sexual health education program, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Tuesday.
NEW: Nearly every Chicago Public Schools student will have access to free condoms and menstrual products starting in the fall.
“Young people have the right to accurate and clear information to make healthy decisions.” https://t.co/thkrb8KQ0d
— Nader Issa (@NaderDIssa) July 6, 2021
Kenneth Fox, CPS’ top doctor and a pediatrician of 30 years, said the idea was “years in the making” and “a step in the right direction for student health,” the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
“Young people have the right to accurate and clear information to make healthy decisions,” said Fox, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “And they need access to resources to protect their health and the health of others as they act on those decisions.”
“Essentially what we want to do is make condoms available to students for if and when they think they need them,” Fox added, according to the Chicago Sun-Times article. “When you don’t have those protections and don’t make those resources available then bad stuff happens to young people. You have elevated risks of sexually transmitted infections, of unintended pregnancies, and that’s very preventable stuff.”
Elementary schools will reportedly receive 250 condoms and high schools will get 1,000, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. The Chicago Department of Public Health will provide free condoms to the district, according to the report.
Fox said that not everybody will be “on board” but that “society has changed,” according to the report.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times report, the sex education curriculum will include lessons on puberty, hygiene, gender identity, relationships, sexual harassment, birth control, abstinence and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.
Fox said he does not believe kids will experience any adverse effects, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.