Condom Dispensers Could Be Coming to a High School Near You

Rant 19

condomsReady for a twist in the old "should teenagers have access to birth control" debate? Some 22 high schools in Philadelphia will be welcoming students back in the new year with brand new condom dispensers. So is this a matter of schools overstepping their bounds and infringing on parents rights? Or is this just one way the schools fulfill their role in kids' lives?

After all, Philadelphia's deputy mayor of health was questioned about the condom dispensers, and he explained that schools are partners with parents in raising kids. Put it that way, and schools giving our kids condoms is really the responsible thing to do, right?

Let's just think about this for a minute.

It's ultimately a parent's responsibility to keep kids safe. That's why most parents who really think things through would side with preventing STDs over pretending their precious little snowflake will never ever ever have sex.

But parents have already ceded a significant amount of control over the welfare of our kids to the schools. We more or less have to, considering our kids typically spend more of their waking hours on a school campus than they do with us.

We already expect the schools to help us prepare our kids for the real world, expanding classes beyond mere reading, writing, and 'rithmetic to life skills' training in the likes of driving and often basic parenting skills. In many places, sex ed is even part of the curriculum (and rightly so).

So why not? Why shouldn't schools be as proactive as parents are or at least as parents should be? Why shouldn't they help us prepare kids for safe sex?

Would you support condom dispensers in your local high school?


Image via Paul Keller/Flickr

school, sex


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jec72579 jec72579

I think that this isn't the school "parenting" our kids. It is the school making a safe alternative to abstinence, because we all know that not every teenager will make the right choice. I will say that if my teenager does make the choice to have sex (which I hope she doesn't), I do hope she will have the smarts and courage to at least use protection. And if her school is willing to provide her that option, I am not against it. 

Iris0409 Iris0409

Until parents universally can be trusted to help their teenagers be safe when it comes to intimacy, and do so in a way that doesn't 100000000% discourage those teenagers from even thinking about coming to them about this subject, I think it's great that schools are stepping up to provide something that is desperately needed.

Estel... EstellaHavisham

Absolutely. Though we didn't have an official condom dispensing machine in my high school, we did have a condom dispenser: our health teacher. Right in a goldfish bowl on her desk. She was one of the most influential and fantastic teachers I've ever met. She was so open, empowering and honest. If anyone had a question, they could go to her privately or publicly to discuss it. She was very frank in her advice and she was very realistic: abstinence only education does not work. Educating teenagers how to protect themselves does. 

In my experience, many parents are embarrassed by having the sex talk with their children/educating them about what to do and what not to do and lots are naive about what their kids are up to when watchful eyes are gazing elsewhere. This teacher totally filled that awkward void confidently and with results. We had to take two semesters of health classes over two years complete with final exams and I'm proud to say that we have one of the lowest teen pregnancy rates in a major metropolitan area and we still have a low STI/STD rate in a state where infection is -- unfortunately -- on the rise. 

jalaz77 jalaz77

I am on the fence about this cause my kids are nowhere near this age. However, when I was in high school two things I noticed, kids that ended up pregnant or ended up with a STD had parents that didn't care, no communication at all or let their kids have full reign or had parents that refused to believe their kid would be having sex, serious denial, these families were usually extremely religious. So it boiled down to parenting. My mom bought my bro condoms, it killed her but she wasn't stupid and she knew my bro was talking to me about it cause he was embarrassed to talk to our parents, my parents did talk to him but he denied denied denied. I always told my bro to make sure she is on the pill or you are using condoms, neither are 100% safe. The thing is my bro has been with the same girl since 15, got married last year at 32, had their first baby at 33 this year. Have to say they are what I call responsible, he talked to me and my parents were involved to a certain point. Didn't need a school to do what family should be doing. Sex Ed does need to be talked about in school though, that much I agree with but then it needs to be discussed at home like all subjects learned on school.

jalaz77 jalaz77

EstellaHavisham-your health teacher sounded smart and grounded.

GlowW... GlowWorm889

Teenagers don't always make the right choices, no matter what their parents teach them. They're children with the bodies of adults--bodies capable and desiring of sex without the psychological development to really back it up. It's good for teenagers to have a way to access birth control in a judgement-free environment, rather than having unprotected sex because they feel they have to hide it. And there ARE going to be those parents who believe that their child won't even be tempted because they "taught them better" and therefore make sex a shameful secret they have to hide and don't discuss birth control. Do I wish my kids (when they're teens) would wait until they're in a committed relationship to have sex? Sure. But I don't believe for one second that just because I tell them to wait means they automatically will. So yes, I AM in favor of providing birth control to teens no matter the setting.

Torra... TorranceMom

I'm behind just about anything that will stop abortions. If that means handing out rubbers, so be it.

bshoe... bshoemaker

I am all for this. So many parents don't teach their child everything they need when it comes to sex education. I don't feel this is the school parenting our children, they are preparing them and giving them a safe alternative. I was too embarassed to just outright ask my parents for condoms and I am sure lots of kids are. This is a great way to keep teens on a safe route.

Mama2... Mama2MonkeyBoys

I'm not all for this. Condom vending machines? Really?

Ok, I am COMPLETELY AGAINST abstinence-only sex education. I am also COMPLETELY FOR having contraceptives available to kids so that they are protected. However, when you have to go through the nurse or a health teacher, you are exposed to sex education at the time of pickup, and there is thought involved. With a vending machine, the only thought involved is whether or not to purchase them in full view of your friends/classmates.

Availability = yes. But, this takes it too far.

miche... micheledo

I don't understand the need for a condom dispenser in the school. Is it because kids need the availability so the can have sex IN school? Or they want it to go out and have sex later? Can't they be responsible enough a walk down to the store and buy one there? If they are too lazy to buy one elsewhere or too embarressed, how are they mature enough to be having sex? And if they truly cannot control themselves from the 'urge' to have sex, then there will be noplanning ahead to get acondom. Really? What is the point?

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