Condom use is a public health issue, not sexual harassment [Letter]

Howard County's public schools are among the top in the nation. We cultivate a vibrant learning community that prepares students to thrive in a dynamic world.

We also talk with kids about sex and relationships: "You can get pregnant any time you have sexual intercourse;" the site says. "Wearing a latex condom, taking birth control pills or using other contraceptives are very effective at preventing pregnancy. However the absolute way to not get pregnant is to not have sex at all."

So what was wrong with one of our elected county school board members alerting the board and its student members that a local Giant supermarket is asking the age of those who purchase condoms?

Moreover, why was this comment considered sexual harassment? The schools' own website states that condom use is a consideration for teens. Certainly we do not want young people to be embarrassed over purchasing them. There is no age requirement for buying condoms so we should be grateful to former health officer Cindy Vaillancourt for bringing it up ("Former state health officer questions Howard BoE actions," Oct. 9).

Drawing attention to a valid public health concern at a public setting is not sexual harassment. The charges against Ms. Vaillancourt are a form of bullying. How can this be happening in a county that has one of the leading school systems in the country?

Linda Johnston Lloyd, Columbia

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