Just like any other place, Chicago also has its schools closed due to the covid19 outbreak. The schools will open for the first time since the start of the pandemic next month. And every school will be stocked with disinfectants, hand sanitisers, masks, thermometers and other essentials. However, the schools will now have menstruation products and condoms as well.
The new policy passed by the CPS Board of Education stated that schools that teach fifth grade and up must maintain a condom availability program as part of an expanded vision of sexual health education and HIV AIDS. This idea was hailed by a section of lawmakers saying that it is a step in the right direction.
“Young people have the right to accurate and clear information to make healthy decisions,” said Kenneth Fox, a CPS doctor and a paediatrician for 30 years. He further added that preventing the “bad stuff” is key behind the circulation of contraceptives. He said that if students need them, they are readily available.
However, the idea of bringing ‘awareness’ about unwanted pregnancies as early as fifth-graders sparked a row and critics are unhappy with introducing condoms to young kids, citing it to be counterproductive in the long run. Social media user questioned “I’m for realistic sex education in public schools, but fifth graders are 10 and 11 years old. What is being taught?”.
In a similar vein, many netizens drew a sharp reaction to the new policy to offer free condoms in elementary schools. One of them claimed that it is being done so at taxpayers’ expense. Just like a coin has two sides, there are also people who hailed the decision. Calling it an excellent idea, one Twitter user said that as girls start menstruating at the age of 8 or 9 these days, it is a sensible decision to educate them about menstruation products and condoms.