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Here! Here! I have not considered that angle. But you are absolutely right! How can they truly consider handing out birth control pills when our school nurses are not allowed to administer simple over the counter drugs? But here they are considering "handing out" prescription medication, and at that medication that could in itself cause serious health complications such as blood clots and stroke. They need to wake up this is not the answer!
Ken Roberts wrote: "Schools cannot legally provide an aspirin tablet without parental consent, yet they can provide birth control? Why is this not alarming to more people?"
Ken, this is a striking example, but there's something special about birth control: most parents can't or won't deal well with the idea of their preteen having sex. Of course we'd love it if parents could calmly sit their kids down and explain to their little girl why she's too young to have sex and the girl would learn her lesson and didn't lose her virginity until she was 25. But we all know that just won't happen. Virtually all parents will communicate ineffectively and virtually all kids will ignore them anyway.
And Dan -- "Sex is a special gift for a married man and woman to share" -- that's swell and all, but it's wildly naive. Our schools should be protecting our kids, and in this case that means looking past this imaginary world of perfect sexual morality parents might like.
Instead of saying to youth, "you shouldn't have having sex at your age," we just need to tell them the consequences of sex too young -- if they choose to take their chances, I say we do whatever we can to make that choice as safe as possible.
I am opposed to handing out birth control pills to young people, due to the potential health risks associated with smoking and heart disease genetic factors. However, if this survey asked if schools should give other birth control products such as condoms, sponges, and spermacides, along with sex education that doesn't preach abstinence, I would respond with a resounding yes. When 12-year-olds are getting pregnant, and 12 years later their babies are getting pregnant, I think we are doing the community a service by intervening.
Better sex education for middle and high school is needed. Pam Stenzel has an awesome video on the facts about STD's. Although, pregnancy is a huge problem, sexually transmitted diseases are physically damaging our young women. Every school, home, and community based organization should education our youth with this information.
In my Grandmother's generation if females made it to 18 without getting married they were considered spensters and a burden on the family. There was little or no access to birth control. Female children 12 years and up were being married off to men 20 or more years their senior. These female children were then having one child after another and more often than not dying in childbirth. It is a parents responsibility to make sure their children are protected and know the good, bad, and ugly of a sexual experience. This does not often happen. Male children are still taught that sex will make them cool not whores while the opposit is still true of females. I would rather a nurse administer a birth control pill, and or condoms and teach children about sex than for a young boy to teach a girl about sex and the female be the only one to have to pay the consequences. It is a dirty job but children need someone who is being realistic and cares about their well being.
Schools cannot legally provide an aspirin tablet without parental consent, yet they can provide birth control? Why is this not alarming to more people?
It is past time that adults become honest with themselves and their children.
The prohibitions to this honesty are based in mythology and a perverse fear of anything sexual.
As an adoptive parent and community member who daily encounters former students and young people with life destroying STDs and/or the early onset of parental responsibility I view the adult inability to confront their personal demons as criminal behavior.
If we allow the media to trivialize the most essential of human relations and fail to address the consequences of our permissive behaviors we will reap what we sow.
If they are old enough to make a decision to engage in sexual relations, continue a pregnancy,and rear a child, then logically, they are old enough to make a decision to protect themselves. The truth is that teens have access to mental health services, HIV testing, prenatal care and drug treatment without parental knowldege or consent.If states allow pregnant teens to make decisions for their children without a parents' involvement, then why is obtaining confidential birth control any different? No one argues that the ideal situation is for teens to consult a parent when choosing to take responsibility for their sexual health, in fact, most do, but for those teens who do not live in accepting environments, it is most important that they are provided acurate counseling and given choices in protecting themselves from disease and pregnancy. I am sure these counselors do not encourage this act or make light of their role. The real issue here is because we live in a sexually-saturated, media-driven society, how do we provide the parents with the proper information and skill to do educate their own children on sexual health and values before these children turn to the schools do it for them? The schools are just the back-up system. When parents use a thoughtful, accurate and respectful approach to these issues, it will be them they turn to for guidance, not the school.
No. Sex is a special gift for a married man and woman to share, and regardless of the reality that middle school sex is taking place, we should all do everything we can to prevent it, never giving up and saying, "Oh well, it's happening, so let's try to make it safer." By way of analogy, middle school shootings are also a sad reality...surely we wouldn't just pass out bulletproof vests, educate kids on how to use them, and say that now we hope kids are safer. We wouldn't speak of students having "safe shootouts" where they shoot live rounds at other students who are wearing "protection," would we? If we want to protect our kids from the devastating effects of premarital and extramarital sex, I think we need to approach sex education the same way we approach other harmful activities like school shootings and drug abuse -- education, information, and a firm "this is not okay, and it has these consequences."
One last thought: do we really expect that we can encourage sex outside of marriage among our children and then expect them to be faithful once married?
Underage students should not be given any medication including birth control pills! Parents have a right to know what meds are going into their children and to have the final say regarding such. I don't like the idea of middle school students having sex but I do know it will happen. Condoms should be given at the schools, not pills.