Condom project approved

Vernon School District trustees have given the green light to the condom pilot project.

Vernon School District trustees have given the green light to the condom pilot project.

On Wednesday, trustees gave their unanimous approval to a three-month pilot project to increase youth access to condoms by providing baskets of condoms for students to help themselves rather than having to ask for them.

“Condoms are currently available at every high school in the counsellor’s office but with the project, kids will be able to access them without having to ask,” said superintendent Joe Rogers.

“About 20 per cent of our high school students are sexually active and are not using protection against STIs or pregnancy.”

Vernon and W.L. Seaton secondary schools are two of six schools in the Okanagan taking part in the project, which Health Promoting Schools co-ordinator Christine Balfour said is intended to increase youth access to condoms and decrease the incidence of sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancies.

“The project has the approval of the PACs at both schools,” said Rogers, adding that according to a recent McCreary Centre report, providing access to condoms does not increase sexual activity.

Condoms will be distributed in a brown envelopes, with a wallet size card, in a designated area in participating schools.

The card will include healthy sexuality links and a project URL and QR code to elicit student’s response to the project.