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Buffalo schools to allow school nurses to give condoms to students

The Buffalo Board of Education on Wednesday approved a policy that will allow school nurses to make condoms available to students. The condom distribution is part of a greater health education program that will be incorporated into the curriculum.

School officials spent the past year and a half developing the policy and seeking community input. The policy came in light of some worrisome data about the sexual habits of Buffalo students.

A survey of high school students conducted last year shows that 44 percent of high-schoolers have had sex and that a third of students had had sex in the previous three months. Among students who were sexually active, 35 percent didn’t use a condom, and a fourth had drunk alcohol or used drugs beforehand.

In addition, city data provided by the Erie County Department of Health shows that cases of sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea and chlamydia are extremely high among teenagers – particularly girls – between the ages of 15 and 19.