CONTROVERSIAL: The idea of condom vending machines in schools has drawn mixed opinions.
CONTROVERSIAL: The idea of condom vending machines in schools has drawn mixed opinions. Doug Menuez

No love for glove vending machine

A WARWICK school principal has slammed the concept of putting condom vending machines in schools.

La Trobe University Emeritus Professor Marian Pitts runs a sex survey on behalf of the Federal Government and told metropolitan media that putting condom vending machines in a range of public places, including schools, was the best way to combat increasing rates of sexually transmitted infections among teens.

School of Total Education principal Shane Power said it was an overreaction to put condom vending machines in schools.

"Schools are doing more than just educating students academically," Mr Power said.

"We are teaching them about hygiene, health and personal responsibility. That has to be where the problem needs to be addressed, in a preventative way.

"It needs to start early, as a natural part of their schooling, not as a knee-jerk reaction to an issue."

Mr Power said he could see a potential use in large schools, but was still wary.

"I can see that in very large schools which have an epidemic, there may be a need for radical action," he said.

"However, they would have to think carefully about the message they are sending by using condom vending machines to combat the problem."

Warwick State High School student Dion Doro said he thought it was a good idea.

"I think there are probably some students who don't use condoms because they are afraid they'll get seen buying them at the shops," he said.

Headspace Warwick manager Sophia McLucas also supported the idea.

Mrs McLucas said she felt making condoms easily accessible was the best way to combat sexually transmitted infections.

"It's up to parents to educate their kids - they need to be talking with their kids to make them aware of the dangers of sex.

"I think it's a good way to protect teenagers from sexually transmitted infections.

"The only other way is abstinence or health checks prior to sex, which most teens aren't going to do."

Parent Chris Cooper said he thought it was a good idea, but was unsure how it would be best implemented.

"It's a tricky one because you don't want to encourage underage children to have sex but it's good that they would be taking steps to promote safe sex," Mr Cooper said.

"If you could somehow limit to students over the age of 16, it would be great.

"But I think there has to be a joint effort from parents and the school to educate children as well."


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