City officials vow to remove condom ad before Catholic school opens


City officials have promised to take down a giant condom ad, placed across the street from St. Kevin Catholic School in Dorchester, after the school administrators lodged complaints.

The school is trying to instill good Catholic values, vice-principal Kim Mahoney told The Boston Herald. Furthermore, Mahoney does not believe the ad is appropriate for young children to see everyday either.

The ad shows two hands holding a condom fresh out of a plastic wrapper. Across the billboard runs the question: “Are you using?” In smaller print, it reads: “I am. Use a condom. Know your HIV status. Call for a free test.” It lists the AIDS Action Hotline number. The Boston Public Health Commission sponsored the ad.
The billboard was part of a $100,000, citywide ad campaign launched by the commission’s HIV/AIDS bureau during gay pride week in June.

The ad went up before the end of school and students in grades 5-8 had a clear view of it from their classroom windows. St. Kevin’s caters to inner-city children, from kindergarten to grade 8.

The health commission and the mayor’s office told The Herald last week that the ad would be taken down before school resumes.

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