CPS to Expand Free Condom Program in Schools

List of schools still being determined, Expanded program should be in place by fall

Thursday, Mar 20, 2014  |  Updated 6:02 AM CDT
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Students at 24 Chicago public high schools will soon see dispensers offering free condoms.

Condoms are already available at Collins High School and Foreman High School. The expansion is part a $19.7 million federal grant that aims to combat teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

District officials said they're still trying to decide which schools would get the condoms.

The Chief Health Officer for Chicago Public Schools, Stephanie Whyte, said a recent study shows that more than half of CPS high school students are sexually active but just 64 percent of them used condoms in the last month.

While down in recent years, Chicago's teen birth rate -- 57 per 1,000 for girls aged 15-19 -- remains among the highest in the nation and is one and a half times higher than the national average, according to the Chicago Department of Health's "Action Plan for Healthy Adolescents" released last month.

The planned expansion is backed by the mayor.

"Yes, I support it," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said at a Wednesday news conference in Englewood. "That doesn't absolve a parent from talking about it with their child about responsibility, behavior and respect."

The expanded program should be in place by fall, Whyte said.

A portion of the grant money was used last year on a campaign which featured images of pregnant boys.
 

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