Mass. School Board: Condom Policy Will be Reviewed

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A Massachusetts public school district says it will proceed with plans to make condoms available to all students. However, due to the public outcry, including Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick, (D), the district will consider excluding all students in grades one through four.

The Provincetown School District will reexamine the policy that drew criticism last week, according to School Superintendent Beth Singer.

On Thursday, Patrick called Singer to discuss the issue, saying sex education programs should be "age appropriate" and that "parents ought to be involved."

The new policy by the Provincetown School Board has drawn criticism from parents in the community who say the policy goes too far by giving birth control to children.

However, Provincetown School Board Chairman Peter Grosso said there is no set age for when sexual activity begins.

"'The thing is, sexual activity starts younger and younger,' Grosso said. 'We don't know what age that is. So we just said, 'We'll make it available to all of them.' We didn't want to pick an age, and I really don't believe we're going to get first-graders asking for a condom, as a practical matter."

Under the new rule, a school nurse must give a condom to any student who asks - even those in elementary school. School officials are not required to contact or get permission from the parents.

Kris Mineau, president of the conservative Massachusetts Family Institute, panned the idea as absurd and has vowed to challenge the policy in court.

"What's next? Birth control pills?" he said.

The policy, approved on June 10, is scheduled to go into effect when the school district resumes classes in the fall.

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