Massachusetts School District Offers Condoms to First Graders
Life 360 – 06/28/10
I believe in sex education in schools. Whole-heartedly. Starting in high school. Giving teenagers condoms, talking about sex and the consequences, and how to protect themselves. Obviously not every parent can be relied on to talk to their kids, and I support sex education in the schools and consider it to be the greatest weapon we have against teenage pregnancy, STDs, and a whole wealth of other emotional issues. Communities that have extensive sex education programs in their schools have lower teen pregnancy rates and lower instances of STDs. You don’t need to be a political analyst or even a statistician to figure that one out.
I have no problems with high schools having vending machines with condoms. None. Teenagers are having sex or not having sex. Access to condoms is not going to impact that choice. But it WILL help keep them safe.
What I do have a problem with is first graders being given condoms. My son is in 2nd Grade. My daughter? Kindergarten. Why would they need condoms?
Apparently in Provincetown Massachusetts, they do. This is one of the most shocking things I’ve read in a long time. In Provincetown, under a policy approved by the town’s school committee last week, first graders will be able to ask for and receive condoms at school with or without their parents’ knowledge. The children will have to speak to the school nurse before receiving one. This policy also states, get this, that the school district will not honor requests from parents that their children not be given condoms.
Seriously. What the #@$!?
Now as I mentioned earlier, I support of schools offering protection to students. Totally. But generally I mean high schoolers, MAYBE Junior high. I mean, I knew girls who had their first baby in junior high, but first graders?
This frightens me to my core. Not so much that the school passed this policy UNANIMOUSLY, but that they felt there was a need to pass it. I get the logic behind policy like this. And I also get why the parents in the community are foaming at the mouth in anger. I would be too. Because my son has no idea what a condom is. My son has no idea what sex is. And I’d be pretty pissed if I found out that one of his friends could tell him to innocently go ask for a condom and have him not only get one, but get a lesson in how to use it and a sex discussion with the school nurse. And I WOULD NEVER KNOW.
But what frightens me, angers me, and upsets me even more, is that in this community in Massachusetts someone looked around and said, “This is a problem that we need to fix.” This community needs to get off the backs of the school board for a moment and ask themselves, why do their first graders need access to condoms? What is going on in that community that this is a problem?
I think about all my son’s friends and I can’t imagine any of them having the slightest hint at what a condom is used for. Or why they would need it for anything. My kid would be the one assuming it’s a water balloon. My kid is still playing with Legos. My kid still thinks “darn” is a bad word.
Condoms? I hate to judge you dear parents and community of Provincetown, Mass. But if any of you out there are reading this, please shed some light on the issue. Why does your school district think your first graders need condoms?