No Condoms in Grade School, School Chief Says

Actors Minnie Driver and Anthony Edwards attend the premiere of "Motherhood" in New York on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2009.
AP Photo/Peter Kramer
Massachusetts elementary school students will not be able to obtain a condom from the school nurse, a district superintendant clarified on Wednesday.

Superintendent Beth Singer took some protective measures today and issued a statement addressing the "misunderstanding" of the condom availability policy in Provicetown.

Singer said it became necessary to revise the wording after it was "so badly understood and misrepresented by the media."

She also apologized to local parents, who were likely taken by surprise by the policy of condom availability and by the onslaught of media coverage.

"It is especially troublesome to me and to our school community that this is likely to have been your introduction to the policy," Singer wrote, according to the Cape Cod Times.

Since members of the policy committee didn't want to pin down an age or school grade for when students decide to become sexually active, there is no minimum age for students who can ask for or receive a condom.

The policy also includes a sentence about how students can receive a condom from the school without being overruled by parents.

The condom distribution policy is due to go into effect in September.

Singer said she had hoped to introduce the policy with a collection of informative materials for students and parents as well as a series of workshops about adolescent sexuality in the fall.

The policy drew criticism from conservative groups, who argued that a first-grader could have access to condoms.

Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick. Patrick, a Democrat who is running for re-election this year, called Singer to discuss the issue and to discuss the policy's intentions.

"Comprehensive reproductive health education needs to be done in an age appropriate manner," Patrick said last week in a statement reported by WBZ television in Boston. "In those instances where local communities have agreed to make condoms available in school clinical settings, the norm - according to our Department of Public Health - is high school."