Brooklyn H.S. condom giveaway back on — just not at the prom

‘BennyBwoy’ to perform condom co. song, ‘Get It On’ at student sex assembly

By Mary Frost

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — Condoms won’t be distributed at a Bedford-Stuyvesant high school prom as planned – but the school is going ahead with a safe sex musical assembly two days prior to the prom, says NuVo Condom company, which will be distributing 500 condoms to students there.

NuVo says that the company will be joining Principal Darryl Rascoe in holding the safe sex assembly at Bedford-Stuyvesant Prep on June 5.

The event will feature a sex education lecture by Teen Choice, along with a musical concert featuring reggae artist "BennyBwoy" who will be performing NuVo’s safe sex song “Get It On.” NuVo is sponsoring an essay-writing contest and will award an iPad along with two gift cards to Modell’s Sporting Goods.

“NuVo believes condoms should be available for anyone that wishes to protect themselves against STDs and unwanted pregnancies,” Ben Isaacs, Vice President of NV Healthcare LLC said in a statement.

The company points out that the high school is responsible for the distribution of condoms to students.

Bedford-Stuyvesant Prep is a small “transfer” high school, designed to re-engage students who are behind in high school. According to the educational advocacy website Inside Schools, some students are already parents.

NuVo caused a stir earlier this month by offering free condoms to city high schools for distribution at their school proms, citing research showing that one in five seventeen-year-olds plan to have sex for the first time on prom night.

But the idea of handing out condoms as an official part of prom night is troubling to some advocates for teens. The perceived obligation to have sex can be unhealthy, some experts say, and condom distribution only adds to the pressure – especially for girls who know that their dates may have spent more than a thousand dollars on the prom and related events. (See the Brooklyn Eagle’s previous story)

One Brooklyn mom, Lynn, said that sex is a reality in city high schools. The condom distribution “sends a bad message – but on the other hand, how many pregnancies result from prom night?” she told the Brooklyn Eagle earlier this month.

Condom distribution at city schools is fine with the Department of Education (DOE).

“As part of our HIV/AIDS curriculum, we have free condoms available at our health resource rooms in high schools,” said DOE spokesperson Marge Feinberg. “If a company wants to distribute free condoms in a high school resource room, then the company would have to make arrangements with the principal of the high school.”