Vermont Takes the Lead in Encouraging Safe Sex

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Rachel Ledoux, Writer

In 2020, Vermont became the first state in the nation to mandate public secondary schools provide free sexual safety supplies to students. According to, a law was passed, mandating condoms and safer sex supplies be made accessible to middle and high school students in an effort to encourage safe sexuality with Vermont’s youth. While s0me schools across the country already provide condoms to their students, Vermont is the first to require it.

According to Bellows Free Academy’s nurse, Valarie Lipka, BFA is one of those schools that have always given students access to these products.  “I’ve been working here for 9-10 years, and we’ve always had condoms available for students.”

In fact, Lipka says that BFA has always made it a point to provide accessible supplies and education for students. Students can access condoms and judgment-free education in either nurse’s office as well as from health teachers.

“We’re not going to ask a lot of questions or judge you; we’re just here to help,” Lipka said.

Lipka even noted a former program included in the compulsory freshman health class called “Comprehensive Health Education,” which familiarized students with the process of getting these supplies. Students were tasked with going to the nurse’s office and requesting a condom.

“It helped make students more comfortable with asking…which would help them [have the confidence] to ask if they needed it later on,” Lipka said.

According to the 2020 BFA health class curriculum, even though this program is no longer an assignment in the class, health teachers still make students aware of the resources they have access to as well as teach them how to use condoms.