Students in Provincetown — from elementary school to high school — will be able to get free condoms at school under a recently approved policy that takes effect this fall. The rule also requires school officials to keep student requests secret, and ignore parents’ objections.At one level I just shrug and say it was bound to happen somewhere. At another level I am very upset for this violation of the principal of subsidiarity.
Is this authority without responsibility?
There sits my real concern. What happens if something goes wrong, and something always goes wrong. Just ask Mr Tony Hayward of BP.
If Dick and Jane decide to "protect themselves" via the School Nurse and for some reason, in the heat of passion either fail to use the condom or improperly install it or it breaks and then Jane gets preggers, will the School Nurse clean up the problem or will the problem be dropped in the lap of the parents? Can Jane go to the School Nurse to get help on an abortion, but with the same secrecy as with the condom? If she has emotional problems, will the School Nurse handle those problems, discretely?
I don't think so. I think that at the end of the day the ball will be in the parents' court.
What if Charles and David decide to go to the School Nurse and get a condom so they can experiment with same sex sex and there is a mishap and it turns out the condom user had HIV and infects the other participant? Who pays the medical bills? The School District or the parents of the unfortunate partner?
Authority without responsibility.
The Governor, Deval Patrick, weighed in on this, here, and he thought the policy a little too much.
"Obviously, this is a local issue, but I expressed my concern about the counseling and access being age-appropriate, and, for young kids, that parents ought to be involved," Patrick said in a call to The Associated Press.WCVB TV, in Boston, quotes my friend and classmate from college, Kris Mineau♠, as saying "the policy is absurd".
Regards — Cliff
♠ Massachusetts Family Institute.