Published On: Mon, Jun 2nd, 2014

Making condoms available as early as sixth grade approved by Oregon school district

Beginning in the fall Oregon taxpayers in the Gervais School District will be providing condoms to students as early as sixth grade after the district approved the plan ” to allow specific teachers to distribute condoms to students who ask for one.”

“If they wanted a condom, they would have to meet with a teacher — a designated teacher, the sex ed teacher, or some of our counselors and maybe some administrators. So there would be designated people for students to have a conversation with and then a condom would be distributed at that time,” Gervais School District Superintendent Rick Hensel told CBS News.

 Xehpuk at the German Wikipedia project

Xehpuk at the German Wikipedia project

A 2013 study by the Oregon Health & Science University found that 7 percent of Gervais High School’s female students had become pregnant. The NY Daily News reports that nine girls, 5% (not the 7%) between grades 6 through 12 were preganant. The Guttmacher Institute reported this month that Oregon’s teen pregnancy rate dropped to a historic new low.

Hensel confirmed this data to the Statesman Journal. The school board passed the motion unanimously.

“It is great for parents. I’m a parent of four girls. The conversations have started and they will continue — unfortunately not all of our kids have that support at home,” board member Molly McCargar told KOIN 6.

“I think the concern was that if we have our middle school, we have some of the same teachers teaching the same topics at the high school, obviously there’s going to be a different type of curriculum for the middle school, but at some point they just kind of felt it would evolve to that anyway — so let’s just include them (sixth graders),” Hensel said.

Hensel said it would be quite different if the condom distribution plan was to install dispensers or leave them in place that could be easily accessible for middle schoolers. But the policy that was passed last week by the board requires that students talk to a teacher first before receiving a condom.

According to Oregon Health Authority, 58 percent of the 539 teens who became pregnant in Marion County between 2010 and 2012 were Hispanic.

Oregon requires schools to teach about both abstinence and contraception,

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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