Sexually transmitted infection (STI) rates continue to be high among people between the ages of 15 and 26. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that this population is at the highest risk for developing one of these infections. In response to this, parents, educators and health officials have been searching for ways to encourage teens to engage in safer sex practices.
Recently, one public school has decided to take drastic action to prevent their students from contracting an STI. The Day, a Connecticut news source, reports that as of March 1st, students at New London High School will be able to get condoms and prescriptions for birth control pills at the on site clinic operated by the Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut.
Superintendent Nicholas Fisher told the news source that he believes this is the right move to make considering the high rates of STIs and teen pregnancies in New London. He added that the plan will move forward unless there is substantial opposition from the school board.
Chairman of the New London Board of Education Bill Morse told the news source that he believes this will not only solve health problems, but help with schoolwork as well.
“This is an important step forward,” said Morse, quoted by The Day. “If we can help students take care of their health issues, without them having to go to Planned Parenthood or somewhere else, it’ll be a lot easier for them to take care of their academic issues.”
A 2010 Ledge Light Health District report found that rates of chlamydia were twice as high among New London teens as those in the rest of the state.
Morse stressed that no school funds will be used to support this new program, and parents will receive a letter in the mail informing them of what is happening and giving them the option of replying and saying that their child cannot participate.