Chicago Public Schools, the third-largest school district in the United States, plans to provide condoms to students 10 years and up this fall to enact “anti-racist pedagogy.”
The board of education’s policy passed in December and mandates all institutions serving fifth grade and older to have a “condom availability program.” According to the policy, dishing out contraception to minors who have largely yet to undergo puberty is “medically accurate” and “provides strategies to support all students that are inclusive of gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, sexual behavior, race, and disability.”
Six hundred schools in Chicago will receive thousands of condoms, courtesy of The Chicago Department of Health. Doctor Kenneth Fox, who works for the district, indicated to the Chicago Sun-Times he believes it is a reasonable precaution even though many students being given the prophylactic are just in 5th grade.
“When you don’t have those protections and don’t make those resources available then bad stuff happens to young people,” Fox said. “You have elevated risks of sexually transmitted infections, of unintended pregnancies, and that’s very preventable stuff.”
Oddly enough, the policy is guided by critical race theory dogma. Chicago Public Schools released an “equity statement” in the policy that states it “seeks to mitigate the effects of numerous inequities experienced by CPS students, such as access to sexual health education and services.”
In the “program components” section of the sex education policy, the district argues it is providing “age appropriate” opportunities to teach “consent and healthy relationships, anatomy and physiology, puberty and adolescent sexual development, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation and identity, sexual health, and interpersonal violence.” In order for parents to opt their children out of the additional mandatory sex education lessons outlined through the policy, they will need to write a “written objection.”
The parent of a high school sophomore in Chicago, Maria Serrano, told the Sun-Times the district is out of line.
“My question is, ‘Oh my G-d, how is it that CPS wants to give condoms to kids?'” said Serrano. “They are 10 years old, 11, 12. They are kids. So why is CPS thinking about providing condoms?”
If schools run out of condoms, principals have been told to ask the government for more. The Sun-Times asked the district why middle school kids are being targeted, to which Fox said the decision was “informed by a developmental understanding of children.”
Fox also said sex education is a matter of “equity and justice,” although it is unclear why holding off on condom distribution for middle-schoolers, let alone any students, would go contrary to either.
Chicago Public Schools did not immediately respond to a request for comment.