This story from New Hampshire is downright frustrating. Officials at a high school have banned the nonprofit organization AIDS Services for the Monadnock Region for distributing safe sex kits that contained condoms, candy, and flavored lubricant. The kits were given to students in December as a part of an awareness-raising campaign for World AIDS Day, and reportedly more than 70 students picked one up.
The kits were initially approved by school officials, but school board members are now saying that they did not fully understand what the kits contained. One explained that there will now be measures in place to inform parents when a “controversial” event like this is taking place.
Susan McNeil, a spokesperson for AIDS Services, said that the outrage was “unfortunate.” She emphasized the need for safer sex to stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, and added that lubricant is often crucial to prevent condoms from breaking.
It’s hard to find more information than this short summary, but I can imagine what happened: school officials okayed the project, and then students came home with safer sex kits, inciting anger among the parents. The school district was then forced to back down. This is all terribly disappointing, because first of all, what should safer sex kits contain if not condoms, and second of all, McNeil is right to point out that lubricant is an essential part of safer sex practices.
The school district should have stood up to parents and explained that as part of a global AIDS campaign, AIDS Servics was helping to educate and equip their children with tools for responsible sexual decision-making. But given the state of sex education in this country, this outcome isn’t very surprising.
Photo from Wikimedia Commons.