WOW: Massachusetts school district to give condoms to 12-year-olds

19 Mar

Increasingly, this culture is taking decisions about values away from the family. Cara Pallone of the Statesman Journal of Oregon has written an article about a Halloween incident which describes the cultural divide which currently exists in this culture. On the one hand, are the Sex and The City mavens who advocate sex with anything with a pulse. On the other hand, are those who espouse what is commonly described as traditional values and who advocate a bit more restraint. Pallone reports in the article, Condoms for Halloween Trick-Or-Treaters

Some teenage trick-or-treaters received condoms in their bags on Halloween night in Silverton.

For the couple who handed out the prophylactics, the act was a community service, health education and a message of pregnancy prevention.

For the father of one 14-year-old girl who got them, the act was an intrusion of family privacy and a violation of his right to raise his daughter as he wishes…..

Is providing condoms to teenagers a pragmatic strategy to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, or is it an unintended signal that promotes promiscuity? Or did the Harrises just overstep?

“It is hard for me as a parent to imagine any justification for giving children condoms without parents’ consent,” Côté said. “It’s inappropriate. I want to deal in my own house with my own children.”

Parents must be involved in the discussion of sex with their children and discuss THEIR values long before the culture has the chance to co-op the children. Moi routinely posts the number of Planned Parenthood at the blog along with information about the vacuous and troubled lives of Sex and the City aficionados and troubled pop tarts like Lindsey Lohan and Paris Hilton. Kids need to know that much of the life style glamorized in the media often comes at a very high personal cost.

Hopefully incidents like this will prompt parents to have discussions about sex and values at an age appropriate time for their child. Parents have an absolute right to instill THEIR values into THEIR children as long as they are not abusive or neglectful.

In answer to the question of whether handing out condoms to kids on Halloween was OK?

Dr. Wilda says NO. This is a discussion for the child’s family.

Huffington Post is reporting in the article, Condoms For 12-Year-Olds: Springfield Massachusetts School Committee Approves Contraceptive Policy:

A Massachusetts school has taken its first step toward giving students as young as 12 free access to condoms at school.

The Springfield School Committee voted 5-1 Thursday in favor of the “Comprehensive Reproductive Health Policy,” which aims to promote safe sex, prevent sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancy.

Under the proposed program, students would be able to acquire condoms from school nurses and high-school based clinics, according to The Republican. Those who receive the contraceptive would be counseled on abstinence and proper storage and use.

The district would notify parents of the program before it takes effect, allowing them to opt out if they don’t want their children to participate. The proposal requires a second vote of approval to be implemented.

The sole dissenting vote came from committee member Peter Murphy, who said he’s not comfortable with providing condoms to 12-year-olds when the legal age of consent in Massachusetts is 16, according to The Inquisitr.

Springfield’s teen birth rate has increased to make it the fourth-highest in the state in 2009, The Republican reports.

Springfield’s move counters a number of political efforts on sex education across the country. The Wisconsin State Assembly on Wednesday passed a bill that would impose abstinence-only sex ed in schools. The proposal also requires that sex ed courses discuss parental responsibility and the socioeconomic benefits of marriage.

Parents must have THAT discussion about sex earlier and earlier.

Moi wrote about the need for parents to talk to their children about sex in Teaching kids that babies are not delivered by UPS Parents and guardians must have age-appropriate conversations with their children and communicate not only their values, but information about sex and the risks of sexual activity. Lisa Frederiksen has written the excellent article, 10 Tips for Talking to Teens About Sex,Drugs & Alcohol which was posted at the Partnership for A Drug-Free America

1. Talk early and talk often about sex. Teens are thinking about sex from early adolescence and they’re very nervous about it,” explains Elizabeth Schroeder, EdD, MSW, Executive Director, Answer, a national sexuality education organization based at Rutgers University.  “They get a lot of misinformation about sex and what it’s supposed to be like. And as a result they think that if they take drugs, if they drink, that’s going to make them feel less nervous.”

Take this quiz to sharpen your talking skills.

2. Take a moment. What if your teen asks a question that shocks you? Dr. Schroeder suggests saying, “‘You know, that’s a great question.or ‘I gotta tell you, I’m not sure if you’re being serious right now but I need a minute.‘” Then regain your composure and return to the conversation.

Learn how to handle personal questions from your teen like: “How old were you when you first had sex?” and “Have you ever used drugs?”

3. Be the source of accurate information. Beyond many school health classes, teens have lots of questions about drugs, pregnancy, condoms, abstinence and oral sex.

Find out what one mom discovered when she sat in on her daughter’s sex ed class.

4. Explain the consequences. Since teen brains aren’t wired yet for consequential thinking and impulse control, it’s important to have frank discussions with your teens about the ramifications of unprotected sex and the importance of using condoms to prevent the spread of STDs, HIV and unwanted pregnancy.

Find out how to guide your child toward healthy risks instead of dangerous ones.

5. Help your child figure out what’s right and wrong. Teens need — and want– limits.  When it comes to things like sexuality, drugs and alcohol, they want to know what the rules and consequences are.

6. Use teachable moments. Watch TV shows (like “16 and Pregnant,”  “Teen Mom,” “Jersey Shore” and “Greek”), movies, commercials, magazine ads and the news with your teen and ask “What did you think about that?” “What did you notice about how these characters interacted?”  “What did you think about the decisions they made?” For us, one of the best ways to talk about a number of heavy topics was to take a drive — that way we weren’t face-to-face.

7.  Explain yourself. Teens need to hear your rationale and why you feel the way you do. One approach is to talk about sex, drugs and alcohol in the context of your family’s values and beliefs.

One of the most challenging moments for me was when my daughters brought up the subject of intercourse.  I explained that my hope was they would not do it until they were in a committed, mutually caring relationship and that it would be a choice, not an attempt to hold onto a relationship and that it would be mutually satisfying.

8. Talk about “sexting.” Texting sexual images and messages is more prevalent than you may think. Read more.

9. Remember how you felt. I know when I started puberty I had many thoughts, feelings and questions that weren’t discussed in my family. Things like body changes, feelings of attraction, acne, weight gain, emotional confusion and the desire to push your parents away.  I wanted to help my daughters avoid that confusion.  I wanted them to understand early on that puberty is a hardwired, biological change that happens to all humans so they become interested in sex for the purposes of procreation. It’s natural to have impulses and feelings that are part and parcel to puberty. Teens don’t have control over these feelings and impulses, but they do have control over whether they act on them.

10. Persevere. Dr. Schroeder warns that your teenager may not want to talk — he or she may shrug and walk away. “Adolescents are supposed to behave in that way when inside what they’re really saying is ‘Keep talking to me about this. I need to know what you think. I’m trying to figure this out for myself as a teenager and if I don’t get messages from you, then I’m not going to know how to do this,’” she explains.

Parents not only have the right, but the duty to communicate their values to their children.

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©


2 Responses to “WOW: Massachusetts school district to give condoms to 12-year-olds”


  1. UN-traditional Father’s Day message: Don’t become a father unless you can make the commitment to YOUR child « drwilda - June 16, 2012

    […] WOW: Massachusetts school district to give condoms to 12-year-olds                                                … […]

  2. ‘Plan B’ birth control for K-12 schools: Tolstoy was right about families « Comments From An Old Fart - September 25, 2012

    […] Moi wrote about a Massachusetts school district’s decision to give condoms to children in WOW: Massachusetts school district to give condoms to 12-year-olds […]

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