ALACHUA COUNTY, Fla. – Sandra Fluke isn’t the only student to demand free birth control from the government.
Gainesville High School senior Kira Christmas has launched a petition to get free condoms in the nurses office at her government school, ABC 20 reports.
“Condoms are a safety tool. It’s something that everybody needs in life. It’s 2015 and it shouldn’t be an issue,” Christmas says.
“There’s unneeded infections everyday and condoms can prevent that and so why shouldn’t they be used and be made available to those who need them?”
According to the Florida Department of Health, Alachua County residents aged 15 to 24 years old have the highest rates of STDs in the state.
Christmas’s petition states condoms “should be provided to teenagers.”
A parent tells the news station he supports the school giving free condoms to students so long as it is part of the “education process.”
It will “help them now and in the long run … I don’t see any problem with it,” he says.
But if Christmas is successful with the free condom giveaway, she says it may not be enough.
“I would love to see more discussion in schools, it’s something that’s still taboo and it’s not talked about at all, we don’t have a sex-ed class,” she tells ABC 20.
But Gainesville pediatrician Olivia Potter wrote in the Gainesville Sun, “Alachua County teaches abstinence-only sex education without any further instruction.”
So while the school district does have a program, it apparently isn’t the one that covers the types of activities that would require a condom.
The school district declined to go on camera.
Christmas says she met with superintendent Owen Roberts and “as superintendent he couldn’t endorse the distribution of condoms on campus. He was wondering, like, how the community would react to it.”
Twenty-two Philadelphia high schools installed free condom dispensers in bathrooms for students as young as 14 to use, ABC reported in 2012.
“We believe distributing condoms is part of our obligation to keep students healthy and to remain healthy,” school district spokesman Fernando Gallard said at the time.
“The health department has described this as a continued epidemic of STDs among teenagers in Philadelphia.”