Condom Availability Through the Schools

January 1999 – Revised February 2016 – Health

The California State PTA is an organization concerned about all aspects of the health and well-being of children and youth. The PTA recognizes that many students are sexually active and that this may result in pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV infection leading to AIDS and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).

Schools contribute to the achievement of public health goals in conjunction with their educational commitments. Through coordinated school health programs that include access to health services, health education, and the involvement of parent and community coalitions, the health and well-being of all students can be promoted and protected.

An increase in reported sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV/AIDS and HPV, among adolescents has prompted many communities to take action to protect their youth. One proven method is to provide comprehensive sexuality education along with school based programs that make condoms available to sexually active youth. Numerous national health organizations have adopted policies in support of school condom availability as a component of comprehensive sexuality education.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that the proper and consistent use of latex or polyurethane condoms can greatly reduce a person’s risk of acquiring or transmitting sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS and HPV.

While PTA has no specific position on school districts making condoms available to students, if a school district elects to do so, PTA urges that the condoms should be made available only under the following specific conditions:

  • That strategies for preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS and HPV should be taught, including abstinence from sexual relations and intravenous drug use.
  • That the local school board has an existing condom availability policy.
  • That a licensed health professional provide condoms only upon request.
  • That verbal and written instructions be given in the proper use of condoms including information about spermicide(s) approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as information on condom failure at the time they are given to students.
  • That any parent or guardian who objects to his or her student receiving a condom may so inform the school in writing. (The law requires school districts to notify parents when a condom availability policy is established.)

PTAs should not assume the responsibility for making condoms available either with financial support or volunteer assistance due to the potential risk of liability.

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