Many students in Philadelphia found clear plastic dispensers in
the hallways chock full of free condoms when they came back from
the Christmas break.
Twenty-two high schools in the City of Brotherly Love believe
the answer to lowering the high rate of sexually transmitted
diseases is to give students easy access to condoms. Tom Shaheen of
the Pennsylvania Family
Institute says student education is a better answer.
"We should be teaching students the actual risks of the behavior
and not try to appeal to the lowest common denominator and expect
that they'll do it anyway," he insists.
Shaheen is also disturbed by this effort because parents are
left out of the picture.
"The schools somehow take the place of a parent or guardian in
choosing what they think is good for a student," he says. "I can't
imagine that parents would approve of it. If there are a few who
do, I think for the vast majority of them it is because the parents
either don't know about it or have not been consulted in the first
Though parents do have the option of submitting an opt-out
letter to the school, it remains up to the students to honor the
wishes of their parents and not avail themselves of the opportunity
to take condoms.