Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Middle School Provides Birth Control

Every weekday morning I awake to the sound of my radio alarm. Usually I hear a traffic or weather update, but last Friday I heard a topic of conversation that left me in disbelief. The topic: Birth control for Middle School kids.

Have things in our society gotten so out of control that we actually have a situation where a Middle School would provide contraceptives to their students? Middle Schoolers! These kids are freaking 11 - 14 years old! Excuse my language but this gets me riled up. King Middle School is the first Middle School in Connecticut and one of the few in the nation to provide contraceptives. The health center has apparently been handing out condoms since 2000, and has recently decided by a 7-2 school board vote to provide a number of girls with birth control pills. This is unbelievable! I literally laid in bed in disbelief and horror. Where are these kids' parents, where are the teachers, and where are the responsible adults? Under no circumstance should a Middle School provide birth control. None! This is absurd! Let's take a closer look at the situation, because undoubtedly there are people out there defending the school board's decision.

King Middle School is in an economically poor area, where half the kids take part in the federal free lunch program. There was one pregnancy last year and a handful over the last couple of years. The school is said to be racially diverse as well. Is that enough excuses? Is the situation so bad here that it is necessary to provide birth control to these kids? One supporter of the school board's decision had this to say, "it's much more important that we reach out to these kids and get these kids the tools they need to stay safe, stay in school and get an education." Let me pause and take a deep breath before I destroy this woman's argument.

You don't reach out to these children by providing them birth control, mam! You are encouraging bad behavior, and you are not being a responsible parent, mam! You reach out to your child by educating them yourself and instilling in them morals and principals, mam! Birth control is not a tool for kids but a vice, mam! Kids stay safe by staying pure, not by having sex, mam! When parents, teachers, and other respected adults support a measure which provides birth control to middle schoolers they are sending a terrible message. Birth control does not protect our kids, it is destroying our kids. It is destroying the moral character of our young people.

Under NO circumstances do I see providing middle school kids birth control as acceptable. They try to defend their position by saying that the kids must go through counselling before they get the contraceptives although they don't need their parents permission to receive birth control. They say they only provide birth control in rare cases. I'm sorry but this does not convince me that it is right to give kids birth control. There are no excuses. Thankfully, there has been loud and numerous outcry at the news and they are considering taking another look back at the issue. Hopefully, the decision will be overturned and the adults in the area will start acting like adults. We are talking about 11-14 year old kids! When we provide them with birth control, what kind of message does that send? What are we really telling our kids? Across the nation and the around the world we need to better educate our children not about the use of contraceptives but educate them on the consequences of their actions. If kids understand that they are responsible for their actions then there would be no need for birth control. I will not just 'get over it' like the supporter of the decision tells us to do, because I will not back down on this issue. I will not give up on issues protecting life and the well being of our young people. We need to instill in our kids character, morals and principals. It is a message you will hear me repeat often and a word my fifth grade teacher made us repeat every day: RESPONSIBILITY!

7 comments:

David said...

Thank you!

Jen said...

I totally agree with the absurdity that a middle school is handing out birth control to 11-14 year olds! I mean, I don't think it's really the school's job to do that--IF they want to promote safety and stuff, they should be required to refer the kids to a free clinic or something. Another thing is that not all parents are willing to educate their child(ren) on responsibility probably because they weren't responsible themselves as adolescents. That's all they knew and that's all the children that live in those types of situations know today. They see big sister get pregnant at 15 and maybe Mamma started having babies at 13...they're not taught that it's unacceptable because their family members think it's acceptable to be sexually active and have babies at a young age. I also think that no matter how much adults at either the schools or the clinics tell the children that the only safe sex is no sex, they're still going to feel pressured by their peers/media.

Again, I totally agree with the school itself handing out birth control but I must say that if the kids are going to do it at all, at least they need to be taught about how to protect their own bodies and others AND get all the counselling. Possibly they should be required to take one of those courses that forces you to take on the role of being a single mother/father.

Jen said...

oh, oops, I made a typo in the second paragraph: it should say, I totally DISAGREE with the school itself...

Anonymous said...

Um... I happen to totally agree that middle schools should provide birth control for the students. However, that is not what I came here to mention. To whomever wrote this you need to get your facts straight: King Middle School is located in Portland, Maine not Connecticut and there have been at least 5 teenage pregnancies within one year at the school. So please, next time you decided to publicly bash a decision based on the situation of the students at the school, please do your research carefully and get your facts straight.

Mike said...

My apologies for the incorrect location of the school. The location really doesn't have any relevance however to the point I was making. I'm not a reporter so I will occasionally get some fact mixed up, but I stand firm on my position. I will continue to "bash" such decisions without hesitation.

Caitlin said...

Nice Rant! There are statistics that show having birth control in schools lowers the rate of pregnant students. Is that such a bad thing?

Mike said...

I'd like to see those statistics you are talking about. I seriously doubt that they are accurate. Even if they were, we must look at other ways to help these kids. Providing young kids birth control is not the answer.
Getting back to Jen's point in an earlier post, we have to look at the intention of use. If a girl takes a pill strictly for the medical use of easing pain, it is not really birth control even if it may also be used as such. In this case however, the pills are being handed out with the intention to be birth control and that is wrong.