Boston Students Fighting To Make Condoms More Available

BOSTON (CBS) – Students, educators and health professionals met with city councilors on Tuesday night to discuss the condom policy in Boston schools.

In New York public high schools, condoms have been offered for free for many years. The same is not true in Boston.

Kimpsha Grant, 17, lobbied for the policy change before a packed room inside Boston City Hall.

WBZ-TV’s Kate Merrill reports.

“A lot of my friends got pregnant at an early age, and I saw them struggle to finish school and support their children at the same time,” said Grant, a student.

Grant is hoping to help get things changed for Boston students.

“I think that teens are responsible and they want to make the right decisions for themselves, but they need the tools to make them,” said Grant.

The kids hope to improve sex education in schools and access to free condoms.

The students even started the campaign with a video.

“It would be healthy because kids would learn how to do things in a safe manner,” said Samantha Brea, a student.

Now, access is limited. Under the current policy, parents must agree to allow their child to get a condom, and they can only get it at one of the nine health centers.

The kids are facing a fight, however.

“We are failing all our teenagers, who are given the impression that as long as they are using condoms, they are practicing safe and responsible behavior,” said Maggie McLean, who is against the proposal.

Some argue that condoms are not the answer.

“They can say it reduces the risk but they can never use the word ‘prevent,’” said Deb O’Hara Rusckowski, who is against the proposal.

The two Boston city councilors in attendance supported the students and commended them for going through the process.

Health officials said that 54 percent of students in Boston public schools are sexually active.

  • Ellen

    Glad I don’t have any kids that I have to bring up in this day and age.

    • MsAttitude

      And how is this day in age any different than the previous? Or the one previous to that? Is it because we don’t send girls away to boarding schools if they… “get in trouble”…? Get real!

  • emom

    Ok this whole thing was started by KIDS< and well does this tell us the mentality of our youth today., They are saying if they have a better sex education course , that they will avoid certain diseases, ahhh what about pregnancies, did any of them ever think about that, This is crazy and why arent parents involved in this ,,, why cant they just wait to have sex,,,,,,,,,

    • Jack

      Obviously you’ve forgotten what it’s like to be a teenager. Many teens are having sex. It’s not new to this generation either. Get over it. I’ve chosen not to get married so does that mean I should be a 45 year old virgin?

      • emom

        Hey smart guy I CLEARLY REMEMBER WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO BE A TEENAGER,, AND FOR THAT MATTER , never had sex as a teen,, so explain the real need to be completely foolish ,,, oh yeah they all think with there you know whats,,, yeah they want sex for what ,, cause its what everyone is doing,,,,, yeah thats why we have so many teen pregnacnies, welfare folks, and parents that havent a clue…. so again explain why teens need to have sex,,, I THOUGHT SO.

      • gerberbaby22

        Apparently you don’t have any kids either. And if you do, you’re probably not with the mother (or mothers), which doesn’t help your case AT ALL. So unless you’ve actually got something intelligent to contribute, please stay out of it.

      • Jamie

        I completely agree with you Jack. I’m in my early 20s and I have seen many of my old classmates get pregnant right out of his school and some even in high school, only about 1/2 of them married the father or are still with them. Teens need to know about sex and ways to prevent unwanted diseases and pregnancies. Parents need to realize kids are going to have sex whether or not they provide them with birth control so they be smart and educate their children on the importance of contraceptives.

      • MsAttitude

        Kudos, Jack.

        I had a very comprehensive Sex Ed class, and it not only warned of the dangers of STD’s/STI’s, but it also informed the class what happens to a woman’s body during pregnancy…something a teenage body isn’t properly prepared for. My baby sister missed out on this class, and let’s just say she has two more children than I do.

        Obviously the kids are concerned for themselves and/or their peers. This abstinence only education doesn’t instill the FEAR, it only tells you not to do something every species on this planet is born to do…(reproduce).

        And apparently, yes. You are supposed to remain a virgin until your wedding night. =)

    • Krissy MC

      Teens are going to fool around weather parents like it or not. Get over that! Give the teens the education and the tools they need to protect themselves. Rather be SAFE that SORRY!!!!

      • galloway

        i hope you realize how ignorant your comment is all i hear you say do you have a child well i do and i think they should be educated maybe you think you can give “the talk” but who wants to talk to their parents about sex nobody and if you think they do it just shows your ignorance.

      • gerberbaby22

        How about giving the kids the “talk” instead. How old are you? Do you have kids? I hope one day you will understand just how ignorant your comment is.

      • Donna

        @ Gerberbaby22 Darling I have a 14yr old boy and 17yr old boy and 10 girl. I have the “talk” to the boys and will give the talk to my little angel. I also gave them condoms just incase they decided that they wanted to have sex. It is always better be safe than sorry

      • David

        Krissy – Hopefully, you are still in school “weather” you want to be or not.

      • MsAttitude

        Don’t listen to GerberBaby22, they probably just think that condom use is about AIDS.

        There is NOTHING wrong in PROPERLY educating a person on both aspects of sex. Yes, it is to be feared, you ought to be very choosey as to whom you partner with, your teenage body is not ready to handle a pregnancy quite yet, even if you are mensing (uhm, can we say added hormones in milk and meat!?). But there is also a very positive side to it – giving your virginity to someone is one of the most precious gifts you can give. And even if you don’t see yourself marrying anyone now, it doesn’t mean in 10, 20 years that this outlook won’t change.

        This Sex can wait, masturbate! education is obviously not working. Hear the kids cries, or else be responsible for the STD’s that will plague your schools!

    • xoxoxo

      Sex education courses emphasize the realities of sex. They are not “how to ” courses. Kids know there is a risk of pregnancy but they forget other risks including life threatening diseases and emotional tolls. They also seem to overlook the fact that a baby changes everything. These courses open the conversation and give real information. Morals are the parents’ responsibility.

  • Cynic

    In the 50’s everyone carried one in their wallet. There was a circle on your Wallet from sitting on it. Very few actually got to use it but it was nice to have “Just In Case”.. Just In Case…Never Came.

    • MsAttitude

      Yes, but those who used the condoms in the wallet failed to realize that heat breaks down the molecular structure of the latex/rubber/whatever and this = holes. Holes = STD’s/STI’s, or pregnancy. =P

  • Cynic

    BUT if it EVER did you would be READY !!!!

  • Cynic

    Brilliant…If they aren’t FREE they are not going to use them.

  • jaygee

    Judging by test scores and graduation rates in the city of Boston, it is quite obvious with such a proposal that those asking for free condoms have most of their brainpower below the waist.

  • Incredulous

    If they want condoms so badly, why don’t they just use their allowance and go buy them from CVS?

  • massman

    It’s great to see kids get involved and fight for what they think is right. I support the improved sex education and free condoms.

    • Cynic

      Looks like you are part of the 23.58% in the poll.

  • Lindsay

    Sex education is imperative to protect our adolescents.
    I am not opposed to driving home the point of abstinence, but statistics show that adolescents ARE having sex. Let’s at the least teach them how to be safe about it
    I for one applaud that these students want more information.
    As a doctor, I see far too many young adults with newly diagnosed STD’s & unplanned pregnancies.
    With more information, perhaps these would be preventable.
    You can try to tell adolescents how important it is to wait, but the reality is, most won’t, and they need to know how to protect themselves.

    • Krissy MC

      Very well put. I’, with you100%!!!!

  • denise

    Crazy! I want a million dollars – will someone give it to me? Just because they want something doesn’t mean they should get it. Condoms aren’t that expensive and if mommy & daddy (or not) can buy the $90 jeans and $150 sneakers then they can go buy the kid some condoms! What next – do they get a room in the school that they can rent by the quarter hour?

    I am so happy I don’t have kids! I’m scared for my family and friends that do.

    I agree w/ sex education because most don’t get it at home. It should come w/ a parenting class – most schools now have daycares – well they should be run by the students. Let them learn be it for an hour at a time that kids aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. and most of them don’t raise the unfortunate offspring anyways – their parents do! And we have enough adults living off the welfare system already – we don’t need kids being provided condoms by schools and when/if the condoms miraculously don’t work either from not being used but provided – does that mean the school will be held responsible? And if they are old enough to have the condoms and be given the condoms what is the next argument… when does “statutory rape” take place? and 18 year old w/ a 16 year old that got her condoms from school??? you’re opening a can of worms that once they’re out they don’t want to go back in!

    • Maya

      Really… I mean, really? Do you honestly believe that if a teenager wants to have sex and doesn’t have any condoms, he or she will just say “to hell with it, let’s go do something else”? NO. The majority of them are just going to have sex anyway. That is what study data suggests, as well as my own personal experience with teenagers.

      Do you really believe that simple access to birth control is going to make teens want to have sex? First of all, most teens don’t need any encouragement in that department. For those that have committed themselves to abstinence, I very much doubt that the presense of condoms is going to drive them into some sort of irresistable sexual frenzy.

      For teens, getting condoms is more than just going to the drugstore. For one thing, no matter how much they may brag about their exploits to their friends, many teens are terrified of having to walk up to an adult cashier and buy condoms. They have been trained to think that sex is dirty and evil BY adults, so they are ashamed to admit to any adult that they are having sex. Furthermore, there is the possibility that a family friend will see him or her buying condoms in a drugstore and tell a parent. This is all especially true if the teen lives in a small town, and even more so if he or she lives in a very socially conservative place, where the chances of being ostracized and/or punished for having sex are high.

  • Kathy

    And how many teenage girls had babies last year???

    You people amaze me!

  • Denise

    I’m sorry Kathy – but they had babies because they can’t apparently keep their legs closed! Please – use some common sense! These kids need something to keep them busy other than sex. Yes they’re going to have it sometime and someplace but why make the schools responsible for providing the protection against pregnancy? that’s what the free clinics are for. Or instead of breaking into someones house and stealing their things they worked so hard for – go steal some condoms! The lack of a condom will cost them much more in the long run! Oh wait a minute… no it won’t – we’ll be paying for it!

  • AMilbee

    I have been sexually active since I was 16. That’s 15 years. And in 15 years I have never gotten pregnant or had an STD BECAUSE I ALWAYS USED A CONDOM! They work people get over it.

  • Denise

    And AMilbee did you buy your own? or did your parents and/or school give them to you? the point here isn’t if they should use them – Absolutely they should if they aren’t using anything else and they’re going to have sex. The question is why should the school have to provide them! I give you credit for being 16 and having the common sense and the maturity to deal with it.

  • Diane

    What people fail to realize is that condoms are available at drug stores. No age requirments, no parental consent needed. So, if you feel you are adult enough to have sex, you should be adult enough to buy your own condoms. If you can’t buy them, have your parents…the people that are responsible for you and your wellbeing… buy them for you!

  • rmsbl4

    I am willing to bet that at least 90% of the whiners have a cell phone but want someone else to pay for their free condoms. How many condoms could you buy with your monthly phone bill?

  • gerberbaby22

    Giving a teenager a condom is like giving a teenager a beer and then saying, “Drive safe.” You need to have sex education, yes, but you don’t need to provide the “practice” tools.

    • Maya

      Um… no. It is nothing like that. First, alcohol impairs judgement (condoms do not). Second, drinking and driving is illegal (having sex is not). Third, drinking and driving carries a very high risk for injury or death to self and others (having protected sex does not). Last, and most vital from a logical standpoint, is that by saying “drive safe”, you are actually TELLING the teen to do something. Simply giving a teen a condom is not a command or even a suggestion to go have sex, and no sane person (including teens sans mental problems) would think it was.

      Your comment prove only that no one ever bothered to teach you about critical thinking.

    • SK

      Just out of curiosity, did you had a bad experience?

  • useemenow

    Did you al forget when you were kids. The facts are starring all of us in the face. We can support and do what we can to educate but this will not stop nature from taking over so lets face the reality and provide as much protection as we need to to ensure youth pregnancies are reduced drastically. The world wants to walk around with their eyes wide shut…if we do not acknowledge it exists then it must not exist….why not open our eyes and face reality.

  • riomarcos

    Condoms work! These kids are right, they’re just trying to protect themselves! When you deny a kid access to condoms, you are putting them in harm’s way. That’s child abuse and you ought to go to jail for it!

  • Sarah

    Everybody wants something for free these days. They really can’t afford their own condoms? Either shell out the money or keep it in your pants. Show some self control. It’s just moronic that these kids want to blame the fact that they got pregnant and struggled through school on the fact that they couldn’t get free condoms, or that “sex education” wasn’t good enough. You need an improved sex education system to tell you that if you have sex, you might get pregnant? You have seriously got to be kidding me. Grow up and take some responsibility for your actions. What a pathetic generation. Ashamed to call myself a part of it.

  • massman

    Boy is there a lot of stupidity on this board. Telling kids to go buy there own condoms sure sounds like the logical solution. Good luck with that.

  • annie

    I had sex for the first time at 18, 1990, right after high school. And I BOUGHT my condoms. We all did. Are kids so entitled now that they can’t even shill out the five bucks to protect themselves? What a bunch of lazy, spoiled whiners we are raising. It’s frightening.

  • george smythson

    1) Humans can exercise a little self discipline and morality (ie, the kids don’t “have to have” sex…

    2) They can buy their own darned condoms…

  • Jonathan Koppel

    Kids a going to have sex whether you give them a condom or not. To think otherwise is both niave and dangerous.

    When my boys were 14 I gave them condoms, along with a lengthy lecture outlinging the possible implications of sex and the fact that by giving them the condoms there mother and I were not giving them permission to be sexually active.

    However, we felt that the dangers of unprotected sex outweighted other considerations.

  • sue webster

    I think that the kids have the right intentions. They are going to have sex with or without the condoms but at least they are trying to be safe. Yes it would be nice if they didn’t have sex but come on is that really gonna happen? NO. I make sure my son has condoms at all times, if he doesn’t he just needs to ask me and I will go buy them for him. He is beiong responible and using them. I hope these kids get what they are asking for.

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