The EU

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Friday, June 25, 2010

Provincetown School System

Yesterday's issue of The Boston Globe had an article by Reporter Jack Nicas on the goings-on at the Provincetown School System:  "Condoms, secrecy for Provincetown pupils."
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.


ncrossland said...

Provincetown......the summer place of Amherst and Cambridge....what else can one say??

Here in New Hamster, we have the deer, the antelope, the meese (as in more than one MOOSE), and the policitians play.......

lance said...

I have been led to believe that there were public meetings to discuss the matter but no one came to voice an opinion. The citizens must exercise their rights or they will have authority with no responsibility (though the responsibility with no authority if they cede it is also true).

Renee said...

My parents publicly liberal, personally conservative yet when it comes to sex education and a host of other things like school sports, a school's purpose should be reading, writing, and arithmetic and limited to that.

I'm not siding with the school, but I do understand there can't be one set age in which a child should know what he or she needs to know. Even the local natural family planning teacher has a course for older girls/young teenagers, it's prepared for ages 9-14 in which the seminar/day course is done with their mothers. The idea parents could not opt out, was worst then having condoms available.

Over at First Things there was an article about condoms and AIDS. When you reduce risk, people feel more protected. If they assume protection, they are more likely to engage in risky behavior.

That's what condoms/contraception do, it protects yet increases risky behavior so the benefit overall is lost. You know Cliff, I'm a big anti-contraception advocate. I know. I know. Everyone can roll their eyes. The only freedom it gave me as a teenager, was to hook up with my male peers who in the end didn't care for me as a romantic partner or even as a 'friend w/ benefits'.

People can jump out of planes with parachutes blind. Yes parachutes make it safe, but not as safe not jumping out of a plane in the first place.

What a horrible analogy.

Technically speaking I jump out of a plane without a parachute, but my eyes are open.

ncrossland said...

I had to chuckle reading Renee's response...not at her choices or even derisively, but at the hoohaw over the Provincetown promulgation.

The press...and society too....seems to have their underwear in a knot over this sex among youth and condom availability thing.

I laughed because when I was in Jr. High and High School, sex education consisted of talking about and watching guppies multiply. We made knowing jokes about swimming behind Susie in the local pool...hoping...praying.

We knew about "rubbers" but had no idea where to find them...or how to go about buying them. Seemed that their existence was somehow more evil (and therefore more tempting) than illicit sex itself. It was rumored that there was a stash of rubbers at the local OK Rubber Vulcanizer shop....but nobody had the chutzpah to walk in and ask for "what?"...a pack....single...or a dozen.

The absence of rubbers didn't really stop much or the outcome of raging hormones. I think that even "back in the day" there was as much adolescent begetting as their is today. Occasionally, girls in the school would simply disappear....allegedly to go visit an aunt in some faroff land. We all smirked knowingly...but had no real proof....or care.

I never knew then...nor many girls hungered for sexual adventure. All I knew was that among my bretheren, there were many quite willing volunteers. There were many furtive backseat gropings that includes an occasional ground rule double...or the prized homerun. I was the benefactor of the latter once at the tender age of 13....but I assure you.....the buildup was such that the poor girl was never in any danger of producing a child with my genetic makeup....a ruined dress and my ruined clothing...but no kid.

Oh....and we all knew full well that a fate worse than death awaited any who got caught indulging their hormonal misadventures....I mean.....nobody wanted to even THINK of the fate that would be ours.

So..the point today are NOT any different than were we. And the diseases with several exceptions were not much different then than now. About the only thing we weren't apt to catch was aids...but clamydia, clap, syphillis, warts, etc., were all rewards for our abandon.

We survived...some a bit worse for wear.....and life went on. And..the girls who provided relief for us.....not that it was normally complete in the copulatory sense....were respected by all....not a slut or even a friend with benefits...just friends...and occasionally....lovers.

Everyone needs to take it down a few notches and connect with these kids...and.....try to understand that they aren't all bug eyed sex addicts. turned out just fine....I'm sure.