October 01, 2015 - 2:30 PM
CENTRAL OKANAGAN - They’ve got the kids on board and the principals but a pilot project which would see condoms made available at local high schools still has to get by the toughest critics of all — parents.
Superintendent of schools Hugh Gloster says a proposal by the Interior Health Authority to supply condoms and an accompanying questionnaire for a three-month trial period has been approved by the board of trustees, senior administrators, sexual health educators and the district student council.
“The feeling of the student council was to focus on the high school level and not include grades sevens and eights,” Gloster says, which automatically restricts the project to Kelowna Secondary School, Rutland Senior Secondary and Mount Boucherie Secondary.
“It’s now scheduled for the next parent advisory council meetings for the three senior high schools,” Gloster adds.
The superintendent says the proposal by the health authority would see a discreet bowl of condoms made available in the counselling offices of participating schools.
"It’s not going to be a machine hanging off the side of the building. It will be where students picking them up will be asked to respond to a survey,” he says.
Despite the approvals of almost everyone else, Gloster says the parent advisory councils will have the final say.
“If they give the thumbs up and there is a school or schools that want to go with it, we could have it up and running in a month or two.”
The proposal for a condom pilot project has been made in school districts throughout the health authority’s service area by community integrated health services.
The aim is increase condom use amongst sexually active teens and in return, reduce teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection rates.
The health authority did not respond to a request for an interview and did not provide statistics on teen pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease rates.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015