(SPRINGFIELD REPUBLICAN) The School Department will be contacting parents by letter and by telephone during the next two weeks to provide details of a new program that allows students ages 12 and older to have access to condoms.

The notice will stress that parents and guardians have the right to “opt out,” by signing a form if they do not want their children to have access to the program.

The access to condoms under the new “Comprehensive Reproductive Health Policy,” was approved by the School Committee in April by a 4-3 vote, with the aim of reducing teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted illnesses.

“We are using all forms of communication to make sure parents are aware of this policy,” said Helen R. Caulton-Harris, the city’s director of health and human services. “We strongly believe that parents are our partner in implementing this policy.”

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