New Mexico: Parents Protest Condom Distribution
December 6, 2010
More than 50 parents protested condom distribution on school campuses at a recent Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) subcommittee meeting.
However, the School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) has not proposed such a recommendation, does not have the authority to create policy, and is not a voting body.
At the Dec. 1 meeting, a man walked up to where SHAC members were sitting, and placed a cucumber, a banana, and a condom on the table. "These are for the sex educators," said the man, who also held a Bible. "This is how they teach it."
The controversy can be traced to last month's SHAC meeting, at which one member suggested condoms be distributed at school-based health clinics. Members discussed whether to make a recommendation to the school board about the distribution of condoms and birth control. SHAC, which operates by consensus, did not reach agreement.
In the meantime, the APS board voted to maintain its current policy forbidding condom distribution on campus but allowing birth control to be prescribed at school-based health clinics.
Jeanne Forrester, who heads SHAC, said members were unaware of the policy vote and its passage. She pledged better communication with APS.
Some parents noted that SHAC's meetings are not well-publicized and called on the group to be more open to community input.
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