Veterans Memorial Schools in Provincetown, Massachusetts, has unanimously passed a controversial new school policy. All students, regardless of grade or age, will have access to free condoms. All they have to do is ask. And when they do ask, they will receive counseling, which includes information on abstinence, from a nurse. And then they’ll get the condom. At no time in any of this will parents be informed that their child has asked for, and received, a condom. Regardless of age. Allow me to repeat that. Parents will NOT be informed. Children WILL receive condoms, regardless of age.
Some committee members didn’t even like the counseling portion of the policy:
“I don’t like that students can’t be discreet about this,” said school committee member Shannon Patrick. “They have to go and ask for it. I’d rather them not have the conversation [with counselors] and have the condom than not have the condom.”
On several blogs that I visited when researching the issue, many people held out the opinion that ‘just because the school is giving out condoms, it doesn’t mean the school is saying, “go have sex.”’ I disagree.
The Endorsement Issue:
The law says that parents cannot, in their own home, serve liquor of any kind to their children who are under the age of 21. Whether you agree with this law or not, part of the impetus behind the law is that parents serving ‘underage’ children is tacit approval of drinking. Parents are admonished by everyone from the Ad Council to Congress not to smoke in front of their children, not to swear, talk on the phone or text while driving, or eat fatty foods in front of their children. All of those behaviors because they offer tacit approval of what some consider dangerous or undesirable behavior. And yet, offering condoms to younger and younger children somehow avoids that “tacit approval” argument. How does that work, exactly? The school cannot allow kids a moment of silence for prayer because that’s “endorsing” religion, but handing out condoms isn’t “endorsing” underage sex?
The Parental Information Issue:
As outrageous as the policy is, I don’t think that there will be kindergartners, first graders, second graders asking for condoms, unless they’re pressured by an older child as a joke. The real problem that I have here has been overshadowed by the K-5th grade policy. Everyone is focusing, laser-like, on the fact that little kids who barely know where their “private parts” are will be allowed to ask for condoms, and receive counseling for their use. But what’s really disturbing – and rather conspiracy-theoryish – is this part of the policy: Parents will not be informed if their kids request condoms.
Um. Excuse me?
I can’t send an aspirin to school with my kid without a doctor’s note, but you, a relative stranger, can not only provide a condom to him, but you can counsel him about sex as well?
This whole thing is so very wrong on so many levels:
~ The blatant assumption that I cannot counsel my own child, in my own time and based upon his mental and emotional maturity, and couched in our family’s personal and religiously held morals and values.
~ The assumption that it is the school’s position to give any health-related paraphernalia to my child, outside of bandages and other first-aid in an emergency, but that I cannot provide a cough drop or an aspirin when I know that my child might need it.
This comes down the over-arching idea that has absolutely permeated the public schools, and also much of our society, that we are unable to blink properly without governmental oversight. From handing out condoms to kids to choosing their friends for them, the schools are setting themselves up as default parents, and whether we like it or not, parents are being shoved to the sidelines, and told that their kicking and screaming is inappropriate.
Other links to the same story: