Condoms to be given to sixth-graders in Gervais

Gervais High School in Gervais, Ore. (Gervais School District)
Gervais High School in Gervais, Ore. (Gervais School District)

GERVAIS, Ore. (KOIN 6) — A school district in Marion County will allow some teachers to make condoms available to students as young as sixth-graders next fall.

Superintendent Rick Hensel of the Gervais School District told the Salem Statesman Journal the board is concerned about teen pregnancy. Nine girls got pregnant this year, about 5% of the girls in grades six through 12.

Gervais School Board Member Molly McCargar, who is the mother of four girls who attend schools in the district, said she supports the idea of making condoms available to students who must ask a teacher for one.

“It is great for parents. I’m a parent of four girls. The conversations have started and they will continue — unfortunately not all of our kids have that support at home,” said McCargar.

A report from nursing interns at Oregon Health & Science University a year ago showed 7% of high school girls had gotten pregnant.

District officials said whether parents will be notified when a student gets a condom is still under consideration, pointing to students’ constitutionally guaranteed privacy rights, which may prevent parental notification.

Kim Hults is among some parents who aren’t as supportive of the idea.

“I just disagree with it. I don’t think elementary kids should be around it. I just disagree with it,” said Hults.

However, the school board said they have not heard from many people who share Hults’ opinion on the matter.

The Associated Press contributed to this article. 

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