SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Ready or not, it's happening; condoms will soon be available to middle and high school students in Springfield public schools.
Springfield's School Department will be contacting parents in the next two weeks to detail a new program allowing students ages 12 and older to have access to condoms.
The access to condoms by school nurses is part of a " comprehensive reproductive health policy" that was approved in a 4-to-3 vote by the School Committee in April. The intent is to reduce teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted illnesses.
Parents and guardians have the right to opt out if they do not want their children to get condoms.
"I think it's a good idea. It would definitely prevent pregnancies and STD's. I would rather that then something more serious," said Melissa Hedeen of Chicopee.
"I think it's about the school system becoming the parents. The parents just are too lazy to raise their own children," Scott Smith of Chicopee said.
Letters and opt-out forms will be mailed before school starts, targeting families of middle and high school students ages 12 and older.
Parents also will be contacted by phone.