Oil City School Board Says ‘No’ to Health Resource Center

| February 26, 2019

OIL CITY, Pa. (EYT) – The members of the Oil City School Board have decided not to hear a presentation from AccessMatters on a proposed health resource center for the district’s middle and high schools.

According to Oil City Superintendent Lynda Weller, after speaking to each of the school board members individually about the proposal, the majority were not in favor of hearing the presentation.

“I just took a kind of informal poll,” Weller told exploreVenango.com.

“It was just me asking each board member. I didn’t get into details, just asked yes or no.”

AccessMatters, a Philadelphia-based non-profit organization, has established health resource centers in other schools throughout the state to provide students with a range of services and information related to issues of sexual and reproductive health.

According to Weller, the idea of bringing such a resource center to Oil City was originally proposed to Oil City High School Principal Scott Stahl by a representative of Youth Alternatives of Venango County.

Weller distributed information from AccessMatters on the centers earlier this month and informed the board that Youth Alternatives had requested that the school boards at Oil City and Cranberry consider hearing a presentation on the health resource centers.

Locally, the centers have also been proposed at Franklin and Valley Grove school districts. The Franklin School Board approved the establishment of a health resource center in December, while Valley Grove decided not to move forward after hearing a presentation from AccessMatters last month.

The proposals have also stirred some controversy, due to AccessMatters being a Planned Parenthood partner.

The Franklin-based American Family Association of Pennsylvania (AFA of PA) issued an “Action Alert” earlier this month warning that AccessMatters was “targeting” four Venango County schools districts.

According to AccessMatters, the goals of the health resource centers are to increase the number of high school age youth in high-need counties with access to quality sexual and reproductive health education and counseling to better inform their health decisions, and to increase the number of high school age youth in high-need counties with access to tools to decrease risk of unintended pregnancy, HIV and STDs.

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Category: Local News, News, Oil City, Schools