A Bay of Plenty high school is defending its decision to give away condoms and safe sex advice in a school ball package, saying the move was intended to help students make better choices.

The package was given to students who attended the Te Puke High School ball last Saturday.

Family First director Bob McCoskrie said he was shocked the package contained condoms.

"The underlying message to students is that the ball is not about a fun social occasion with their peers, but about an expected opportunity to have sex," he said.

"That is a foolish and dangerous message to be sending."

The school had undermined the role of parental supervision by giving away the condoms without parental notification or permission, Mr McCoskrie said.

Te Puke High School principal Alan Liddle said the criticism was a "beat-up".

"This really disappoints me. It was there to help people," he said.

The package was put together by a student-driven health committee and contained a number of items to promote students' safety, such as taxi chits.

"It was a student-driven initiative to support students."

The inclusion of condoms had nothing to do with the promotion of sex, Mr Liddle said.

"If we're talking about teenage pregnancies and STIs being a major problem in today's society, I actually think that the kids have thought responsibly about this. They weren't promoting anything," Mr Liddle said.

"By giving a taxi chit, they're not promoting drinking. They're just giving them support if they need help.

"I think that's what we need to focus on - how can we support our kids to make better choices?"

If people did not want the condoms "they could chuck them away".

- NZPA