The Sagamore

Students tackle improving high school reproductive services

Muriel Statman, Staff Writer

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For years students have been taught that there are two ways to prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unwanted pregnancy: contraceptives and abstinence. Although this may seem like an easy and straightforward task, many additional variables can make safe sex difficult.

The high school provides resources to aid students within both the psychological and physical aspects of reproductive health, but many still believe improvements need to be made to increase the effectiveness and knowledge surrounding these sensitive topics.

At the school clinic, condoms are given to any students who asks. School nurse Megan Day approximates around 10 requests per month.

Day says that there are several aspects to reproductive health, not just physical protection.

“I think providing information related to reproductive health in conjunction to providing protection itself is an effective way to prevent sexually transmitted disease and unwanted pregnancy,” Day said.

Day also believes that having condoms offered at the clinic is an important and necessary resource for students.

“I think that it’s a good place to start, getting people comfortable, having conversations, seeking out education and protection,” Day said. “I hope that students feel comfortable coming in here and asking.”

Senior and member of the peer leadership class Anthony Saunders is currently working on a project to improve reproductive education and services offered at the high school. His group is creating poster boards depicting different types of contraceptives.

Saunders does not think that the nurse’s office is an effective platform for providing condoms.

“I feel like it’s more of a barrier for kids to go and ask for condoms,” Saunders said. “That’s very uncomfortable for a lot of people, especially a high school student who hasn’t had that exposure yet.”

GRAPHIC BY JAMIE MARTINEZ/SAGAMORE STAFF

Saunders is also on Student Legislature, and he is working on a bill that could make condoms easily accessible to all students.

“In the bill, it says that a box of condoms should be available for students to grab and go in either the administrative offices or social worker’s office, which would help prevent the awkwardness,” Saunders said.

Senior peer leader Ori Ayalon is working with Saunders on this project.

“We thought that it was really important that we make that public and very anonymous; someone can just walk by and see everything instead of having it taught in the class where some people can feel very uncomfortable,” Ayalon said.

According to Ayalon, the board will not only display the different forms of contraceptives, but also show how effective they are in preventing STIs through statistics.

Ayalon works at Planned Parenthood as well, an organization that provides reproductive health care throughout the United States and internationally.

“In my group we teach middle schoolers and high schoolers about comprehensive sex education, because I felt like we weren’t taught that,” Ayalon said.

Ayalon uses her previous knowledge on sex education to advocate for a better system at the high school.

“I wanted to make this more public so people know how to feel okay with what they’re doing, the feeling that you’re accepted and that someone is there to help you,” Ayalon said. 

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Students tackle improving high school reproductive services