SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - A meeting was held Tuesday night to discuss a policy that would make condoms available in schools to some students.
This parent-student concerns meeting started at 5pm at the Harris School in Springfield.
It was for parents to talk with school committee members and school nurses to discuss what some consider a controversial issue. Should Springfield public schools provide free condoms to students as young as 12 years old?
The Springfield school committee says the Comprehensive Reproduction Policy is their latest effort to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy among teens, and the effort is led by Mayor Domenic Sarno.
Wanda Gibens, a member of Sarno's committee called Springfield Adolescent Sexual Health Advisory Council, told 22News, "You're never too young to be educated. And as much as we would like to believe that all of our children are innocent and that they are not going to find themselves in situations where they have to make tough decisions, that's just not the case anymore."
In Tuesday's meeting, the parents and the committee members tried to find answers to questions like how to prevent students from leaving classrooms during instruction time to go to nurse's office. Or what does the law say about minors as young as 12 years old having sexual relations with other minors?
In Massachusetts, it is legal for minors to purchase or have access to condoms, but many parents told 22News, they think the responsibility of educating the children ultimately falls on parents.
Steaphanie Roszko of Springfield said, "Unfortunately kids are being sexually active younger and younger. The parents are responsible to talk to their kids."
And Gloria Colon of Springfield said, she's not sure if the schools' policy will be effective without getting parents involved.
"Ten years from now, are we going to say let's give condoms in elementary schools?" Colon said. "I just think the high school one wasn't successful, and my question is, how are we going to get parents involved?"
In March, the school committee voted five to one in favor of this new condom policy . If approved during the second round of voting it will allow students to walk into the nurse's office and request a free condom.
The second round of voting will take place on April 5th and the policy does allow parents to opt out if they choose to.