A few condom success stories out of the Evergreen State.
The Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is one of eighteen state education agencies funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH). NCSD is pleased to work with WA OSPI and other states to build capacity and provide support around facilitating access to key sexual health services for middle and high school students. The following success stories represent youth leadership, strong partnerships, community engagement, and effective use of data to advance this work, specifically around condom availability and knowledge.
has about 10,000 residents and a small-town feel, in spite of its proximity to Seattle (about an hour away by ferry). There are few health care providers and not a lot of privacy for teens seeking sexual health services or even condoms. Thanks to the leadership of one student, several of the 500 students from the local high school decided to address that problem. After creating and distributing a survey to fellow students and writing articles in the school newspaper, they presented their findings to the local school board, with a request to make condoms available at the high school. Their efforts resulted in the revision of the district’s sexual health education policy, with free condoms initially available in baskets near the counselors’ offices at the high school. When condoms were disappearing at an alarming rate, primarily for use as water balloons, students from the local peer education “teen council” worked with their school nurse to secure a condom dispensing machine. Here’s to the power of student advocacy!
another fairly conservative community in Southwest Washington and located about a half hour north of Portland, has been successful in adding condom demonstrations to their middle and high school sexual health curriculum. After presentations to parents and the superintendent, which highlighted Healthy Youth Survey data on sexual behavior among students, the school health advisory committee worked with district administrators to change their sexual health education policy. Their successful efforts resulted in school board approval of teacher condom demonstrations in 8th grade and student demonstrations/practice in 9thgrade health classes.
For more information about school-based condom availability programs, or ways to work with schools to promote STD prevention, contact Sara Stahlberg, Senior Program Manager, Adolescent Sexual Health.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author(s) and do necessarily reflect the position of the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD). Any medical advice contained herein should not be used to substitute for sound medical guidance.