Bed-Stuy Prom Condom Controversy 'Overblown,' Students and Parents Say
BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — That's a wrap!
After weeks of controversy that ended plans to hand out condoms at a Bedford-Stuyvesant Preparatory High School prom, students finally got the free birth control at a special assembly.
"It was great," said student Cris Mely, 17, who made off with a pizza and a pocketful of prophelactics during the safe sex assembly hosted by condom-maker NuVo Tuesday.
"They want us to protect ourselves."
Exactly when and where the company could distribute its brightly-packaged rubbers has been the subject of fierce debate ever since Principal Darryl Rascoe announced plans in May to make them available at the school's June 7 prom.
But those plans were scuttled after the Department of Education made it clear that parents would all have to sign release forms, the Daily News reported.
"We're really trying to promote saftety and awareness," said Behn Goldis, the company's marketing director who performed NuVo's safe sex song 'Get it On' at the assembly.
"Between 50 and 60 percent of kids are having sex in high school — 20 percent of kids have sex after prom."
Rascoe told the News he already has student parents at his school, and the building on Marcy Avenue hosts a special program for pregnant teens.
"We don’t have shows like "Sixteen And Pregnant" because abstinence is working," said Ben Isaacs, a representative for NV Healthcare, which distributes NuVo condoms. "We're trying to get the conversation started again about safe sex."
Mom Mary Wales, 48, agreed. Her 18-year-old daughter, a student at a nearby high school in Bed-Stuy, just announced she's six months pregnant.
"I just found out," she said. "She wants to keep the baby, so I'm going to be a grandmother again."
Wales said she wished more schools would give away condoms at the prom.
"I would have loved for (my daughter) to go to the prom," she said. "But I don't think she's going now."