Says sexuality education and condom availability will reduce risks for teens.
BOSTON—The Boston School Committee has approved a new wellness policy that would expand sexuality education and make condoms available in high schools. President and Chief Executive Officer Martha (Marty) Walz made the following statement in reaction to the committee vote this evening:
"Keeping students healthy is key to keeping them in school, and we know that teen parenthood continues to be a leading cause of school dropout in Massachusetts. The passage of this wellness policy represents an important step forward in efforts to address the high rates of sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancy among the city's young adults. Boston Public School personnel, community health partners, and health resource centers must have a full range of tools available to educate and empower teens to make healthy decisions.
"Sexuality education works when it emphasizes the importance of delaying sexual activity while also teaching teens about proper condom use and other contraceptive methods. I applaud the Boston School Committee for approving a policy that places so much emphasis on education and prevention. It is essential that all teens, no matter where they go to school, are equipped with the information and communication skills they need to form respectful relationships and prevent STIs and unplanned pregnancy.
"The next challenge for Boston will be implementing this policy. It is critical that Boston's next mayor and next BPS Superintendent prioritize this policy as an important education and public health initiative."
Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts is the largest freestanding reproductive health care provider and advocate in the state. For 85 years PPLM has protected and promoted sexual and reproductive health and rights through clinical services, education and advocacy. For more information, visit www.pplm.org.
June 19, 2013