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San Francisco Board of Education updates policy on condom availability to include middle schools

Press Release

February 23, 2016 (San Francisco) – The San Francisco Board of Education has unanimously approved a resolution to expand its Condom Availability Program to all district middle school youth.

Middle school students will be required to meet with San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) nurses or school social workers for assessment, education, and intervention. Only after a nurse or social worker deems it appropriate, students will receive information about condom use, its risks and effectiveness. They will also be informed that abstinence is the only 100 percent effective method to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

Parents will be notified of the program through the SFUSD Student and Family Handbook. State law, Family Code 6925, legally allows for youth to receive reproductive health care, including contraception, without parent consent.  

“We want to engage students in discussions about their reproductive health so they are equipped to make healthy decisions,” said SFUSD Director of Safety and Wellness Kevin Gogin. “We always attempt to engage parents in the discussion when appropriate, and we encourage students to do the same, but we know this isn’t always possible.”

SFUSD has been making condoms available in high schools since 1992. According to SFUSD’s biannual Youth Risk Behavior Survey, only 26 percent of high school students have had sexual intercourse, well under the national average of 46.8 percent.

“There is no research that supports providing condoms in schools increases sexual activity,” added Gogin.

Both Los Angeles Unified (LAUSD) and Oakland Unified (OUSD) school districts have begun similar programs.

The San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) supports the expansion.

In a letter of support to SFUSD, Dr. Susan Philip, DPH Deputy Health Officer and Director, echoed the importance of SFUSD’s program. “As the STD Controller in San Francisco, I know all too well that San Francisco has among the highest rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis of any city in the United States. Further, adolescents and young adults are at increased risk for chlamydia and gonorrhea infections, when compared to adults.”

There will not be any cost to the district for the condoms or educational materials related to them.  These will be provided by the SFDPH.

Implementation is currently being planned, and parents will be notified in the Student Handbook in August, 2016.  Resources for parents will be made available for parents of middle school students.

 

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Page updated on 02/24/16