Public schools in the Chicago area are closed right now due to the Covid-19 outbreak. The schools will finally open in autumn and the students will have a surprise waiting for them. It will be menstruation products and condoms. Of course the schools will also be stocked with sanitisers, face masks, wipes, thermometers, things which have become a must in Covid-19 times.
Under the new Chicago Public Schools policy, classes of fifth standard and above will be required to carry out a condom availability program, in view of educating children while also safeguarding them from unwanted pregnancies and serious illnesses such as HIV AIDS.
The idea of the now implemented policy was years in the making, and although it received some controversy, lawmakers believe it is a step in the right direction. “Young people have the right to accurate and clear information to make healthy decisions,” said Kenneth Fox, a CPS doctor and a pediatrician for 30 years, told Chicago Sun-Times.
Fox went on to say that preventing the “bad stuff” is key behind the circulation of contraceptives. He said that if students need them, they are readily available.
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But things may not be that simple. Such moves more often than not run into controversy. The policy so far has been that school principals decide on such matters related to sexual health and education. That changes with the new rules from this autumn.
Many reacted to the news on social media, and as always opinions were divided.
I’m all for realistic sex education in public schools, but fifth graders are 10 and 11 years old. What is being taught?— Kylee Alexander (@KyleeAlexander_) July 6, 2021
Cool, good news!— Luke Straube (@LukeStraube) July 6, 2021
I see more and more families deciding to homeschool because of nonsense like this!— Jamie Mendoza (@earthbookworm) July 11, 2021
Excellent!— Dr Brenna #CopsOutCPS (@BrennaDemands) July 7, 2021
Giving out condoms in 5th grade is ridiculous.— Kim Barber (@Kimbarb72957870) July 10, 2021
The starting point for elementary schools will be 250 condoms, while high schools, which already make them available, will get 1000. There will be no charges applicable, which will encourage more students to acquire them. When a school runs out, principals will be told to request more.
Principals will receive guidance on how to go about storing them and operating the program. Condoms will be made available to students in an accessible area, but not too out in the open so that students have at least some privacy.