BOSTON (CBS) — When you watch the video associated with this story, you’re getting a sneak preview of a student project that a determined and disciplined group of Boston high schoolers hope will lead to changes in the city’s sex education policy and bring free condoms to their schools.
“On the street you might hear facts but you don’t know if they’re true or false,” says Priscilla Roque, a 16-year-old student who is part of the Hyde Square Task Force, the group behind the video. “But this way you get it from the true source.”
She and her fellow advocates say the city’s public high school students deserve a uniform and comprehensive sex education curriculum — and they want it to start freshman year when kids have tons of questions.
WBZ-TV’s Jim Armstrong reports.
Starting next week, these students will use their video to go on the offensive, realizing they might offend some people with their frank talk about teens having sex. The students also want free condoms accessible, with parental consent, in all Boston public high schools.
According to 17-year-old Samantha Brea, talking about these topics with adults “is awkward, but I think it’s awkward because of the way things are now, because people feel like sex is a bad thing that kids shouldn’t be talking about.”
It’s not that “Pure in Heart America” doesn’t want kids talking about sex, but the Brighton-based group would prefer the focus to be on abstinence.
“The fact is, condoms are not the answer,” says Pure in Heart member Chris Pham.
He thinks free condoms could actually make things worse for students. “What they need to do is get better educated. They need to know the alternative is to wait until you are married,” Pham says.
But the student discussion will go on.
In fact, the topic will go before a special hearing of the Boston City Council. That hearing was requested this week by Councilor At Large Ayanna Pressley, who tells WBZ curbing teen pregnancy and keep teenagers from dropping out are two of her main goals. She’s proud of the students at Hyde Square who have taken on these issues.
“Given the rise in STD numbers and in teen pregnancy,” says Pressley, “I think this is a direction we need to be moving in to ensure our young people are safe and healthy.”
Added Samantha Brea, “We have to look at the bigger picture, and the bigger picture is that there are STDs and kids having kids and the problem’s not getting fixed.”
The students’ video will have its public premiere December 9th at the Connolly library in Jamaica Plain.