As public schools in Chicago reopen, they will be required to make free condoms available to any student aged 10 years or older.
Kenneth Fox, the chief medical officer of Chicago Public Schools (CPS), said when interviewed on the subject:
"Young people have the right to accurate and clear information to make healthy decisions, and they need access to resources to protect their health and the health of others as they act on those decisions."
"Essentially what we want to do is make condoms available to students for if and when they think they need them," said Fox, according to DailyMail.
"When you don’t have those protections and don’t make those resources available then bad stuff happens to young people. You have elevated risks of sexually transmitted infections, of unintended pregnancies, and that’s very preventable stuff."
The new public school policy, which was put in effect in Chicago in Dec. 2020 while schools were still closed due to the pandemic. Schools are now scheduled to re-open in Aug. 2021, in which the policy will be active.
Previously, individual principals of schools had control of how issues like these operated in their schools, but that is no longer the case.
"Schools that teach grade 5th and up must maintain a condom availability program," reads the literature on the new rules, going on to state that each school will be provided initially with a supply of 250 condoms for elementary schools and 1,000 for high schools. Principals are required to request more when the stock runs low.
"CPS provides guidance regarding the notification to parents and access to condoms by approved school representatives. Condoms are 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 CPS students."