When Chicago Public Schools resume classes in the fall, students as young as 10-years-old – grades fifth and up — will have access to free condoms.
The CPS Board of Education passed the new policy back in December. Per the new policy, schools that teach grades five and up will be required to maintain a “condom availability program.”
CPS said the condoms will be provided at no cost by the Chicago Department of Public Health “in an ongoing effort to mitigate the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV infection, and unintended pregnancy” among students.
In an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, CPS’ top doctor Kenneth Fox acknowledged that the decision will likely ruffle some feathers, but said it was necessary to safeguard students’ health.
“When you don’t have those protections and don’t make those resources available then bad stuff happens to young people,” he said. “You have elevated risks of sexually transmitted infections, of unintended pregnancies, and that’s very preventable stuff.”
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Starting next month, 600 CPS schools will receive thousands of condoms.
Elementary schools will receive 250 condoms and high schools will get 1,000, FOX 32 reported. Principals must request more from CPS and the Chicago Department of Public Health when their schools run out of condoms.
The new policy also revamps sex education. Teachers and staff who are responsible for providing sexual health education must complete the CPS’ Comprehensive Sexual Health Education Instructor training and pass the post-exam prior to teaching lessons.
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Fox News has reached out to Fox and CPS seeking additional comment but did not hear back before publication.