Free condoms at the senior prom

Filed under: Teens, Activities: Babies, In The News, Day Care & Education

How would you feel if you got a letter in the mail letting you know that the school board had approved providing condoms to students at the upcoming junior/senior prom for free in an effort to encourage safe sex and responsible decision making? That's the letter parents in Dunlap, Illinois, near Peoria received recently.

The letter went on to recommend that parents talk to their children about safe sex and "discourage them from taking the risks involved with sexual intercourse." The letter justified the program, explaining that "the minor cost of supplying contraceptives to students is greatly offset by the value of the health and safety of Dunlap students."

Parents' reactions were mixed. "I was a little shocked," said Rose Haines, whose daughter attends the high school. She was surprised that officials would implement such a plan without checking with parents first "but I wasn't too worried, I trust my daughter." Of course, the school board wouldn't do something like that without community approval -- if at all.

The letter was, in fact, a hoax. "It was pretty wild . . . as a parent, it's just funny," said Kristi Bruch who spotted it as a prank right away. It apparently looked pretty official, however, arriving on colored letterhead as it did. What with mailing labels, copying, and postage, estimates are that the senior prank must have cost nearly $200.

The school's web site features a notice saying that "Earlier this week a fraudulent letter was mailed to Dunlap High School families which stated that free condoms would be available at this year's prom. This letter was not written by the Dunlap Board of Education or the Dunlap High School administration." The school principal, whose name signs the note, also asks that anyone that knows who wrote the letter come forward.

No one is quite sure if a crime has been committed, but even if there was, it seems to me that this is much more creative and much less destructive than, say, turning the third floor of the high school into a giant salad bowl. I have to give the students credit for thinking up something new.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.