Contraceptives in middle school

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by TerryJ2, Oct 18, 2007.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

  2. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Wow, grades 6-8. I'm very surprised that it was passed by such a landslide as well! A large part of me thinks it's great...but it still makes me uneasy to consider that there are so many kids in grades 6-8 that this measure even had to be considered, Know what I mean??

    Interesting.
     
  3. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: TerryJ2</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I can only imagine that there must be an existing problem for the school board to take such action.</div></div>Well, not necessarily. Some school boards are really pushing the envelope.
     
  4. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    I think it's sad. I think the schools would be better off spending that money on teaching kids this age the importance of not having sex vs. spending it on contraceptives. This is sending a bad message. I can think of a lot of reasons why this is not a good idea.
     
  5. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    I think it's a necessary evil. Yes, it would be wonderful if we could teach kids abstinence and have them follow it - and a few will and that's why we teach it BUT a lot won't. Do those that don't deserve to die of AIDS or go on to have babies they can't take care of? Because they (the babies) are the ones who get punished in the end.
    Our whole take on sexuality is so skewed in this country that I don't see how we can not have problems. We push sexually explicit performers and content and even toys on younger and younger kids, yet we have this Puritanical view of sex compared to most of the other countries in the world. Kids are getting hugely mixed messages and they don't know how to cope. I'm almost 60 years old and I'm not sure I know how to cope. By the time kids reach middle school, it is just not possible for parents, no matter how proactive, to shelter them from all of the influences out there. I'm not even sure that sheltering them too much is a good idea at that age. We all try to teach our kids what is right and wrong but if you have ever worked with middle school kids you know that it doesn't always get through. If contraceptives in schools can prevent even one case of STDs or prevent even one unwanted pregnancy then I'm all for them.
     
  6. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Providing contraceptives is not going to stop them from getting aids. Okay, condums are one thing, but contraceptive pills? I would think this is going to go on to promote more children getting aids. Now, there will be kids with aids have babies with aids. An eleven year old taking pills everyday?

     
  7. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I've seen studies that show that students in abstinence only curriculums have sex as frequently as students in non-abstinence only curriculums but they are less likely to use contraceptives.

    Having said that, here in Georgia contraceptives are not available to students in any schools at any age thanks to our state legislature.

    As the mother of two now adult daughters, my position was always that I didn't want them to have sex as teenagers but if they did I wanted them to know about and have access to birth control.

    ~Kathy
     
  8. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I don't object to providing them access to condoms. I do object to providing them birth control pills. Pills are medicine and have side effects. A parent needs to be involved in that decision.

    The shame of it is that some parents are now sure to deny their children permission to use the health center because they don't want them to be treated for this.
     
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think we are all kidding ourselves if we think kids dont know about sex at early ages. Our culture promotes it as Mutt so aptly put it. But we send these lovely mixed messages of "dont do this, only do that, this isnt sex, yada yada yada." We do need to teach our kids better and arm them better.

    Heck, I knew better back in the 70s! Kids were having sex early back then too ya know. This isnt something that was just invented. Only back then we only had to worry about STD's and unwanted pregnancies. Now things can kill you.
     
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    This is a very complicated issue. The article says that the Healt Center reported 5 children who said they had sex. This was during the last year.

    I am not opposed to kids having access to condoms, and knowing how to use them. BUT I do think that providing and everyday medication that has to be taken at the same time every day is asking for trouble. I know a lot of adults have trouble with the pill, simply because it is a powerful medication, and has to be taken in a very strucured way. I think they will see more pregnancies because this. I hope I am wrong.

    I have already told my daughter and her gyn that she can come in with-o me to get whatefer treatment she and the doctor feel is necessary. I will pay the copays or whatever.I know she is 12. I also know a woman who is raising her 14yo's 2 yo child. I know that several girls I was in school with had major fertility issues because they got an STD and went until college with-o treatment. I want my child to be safe. Jess is fairly levelheaded. I think she will choose responsibly, but I want her to know that there ARE responsible ways to handle these issues.

    I also wonder where the school gets so much $$ for the health center??? Our schools are trying to cut back on office supplys. We have 2 district nurses who oversee medical plans. One nurse for elementary, 1 for middle, jr high and high school. That is it. No health center with docs and PA's to treat real health problems. This amazes me.

    Susie
     
  11. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    My easy child daughter texted me around April of this year...her 8th grade year. "Mom please don't tell dad but I want to get on birth control" I put all of my "personal feelings" away within moments of that text. I knew what I had to do!

    I can't even begin to tell you how proud I was of my daughter and how important I AM as her mother!

    She ultimately decided that she didn't want to be on the birth control but after that text I had her at the gyno's within 2 days. LOL, she said it was to..."regulate my periods". UH HUH. I don't give a flip. She was trying to take care of her body and she trusts me enough to love her, not judge her.

    It was a very satisfying moment for me as my dear easy child's mamma. I would NEVER have trusted my mom like that when I was a teen.
    We Mom's are Major important in our daughters' lives. We need to make it "safe" for them to talk to us!

    lovemysons
     
  12. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Like Kathy, I've seen several studies that have shown that abstinence education does not reduce the number and rate of kids having sex.

    However, I do not think any school should be doling out birth control pills. Condoms are one thing...they provide protection from STD's as well as pregnancy, but unless they have a complete medical history on a child, doling out birth control pills should be a no-no.
     
  13. PollyParent

    PollyParent New Member

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: susiestar</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I also wonder where the school gets so much $$ for the health center??? Our schools are trying to cut back on office supplys. We have 2 district nurses who oversee medical plans. One nurse for elementary, 1 for middle, jr high and high school. That is it. No health center with docs and PA's to treat real health problems. This amazes me.

    Susie</div></div>

    It is unlikely that the school itself is providing all the funding for an on-site health center. Without knowing any of the details, this SOUNDS like a county or city public health program which operates in cooperation with the schools. There are counties which do this, and have found having access to the school system to be very effective in promoting public health initiatives and interventions.

    Therefore, without knowing any of the details, I'd also hazard a guess that the provision of birth control pills is a public health initiative which needed approval form the school board before going into effect.

    At that point, the public health office has a heck of a lot more information on the topic than your average school board.

    Also, in terms of abstinence-only sex education in the public schools, there are laws which dictate the full health curriculum that public schools can provide. In California, schools who choose to offer sex ed must teach that abstinence is the only sure way to prevent the transmission of STDs, but children are also expected to learn about proper use of contraceptives, etc.

    http://www.californiahealthykids.org/c/@m4u5_u96rLWlw/Pages/lawsdbproduct.html?record@1250

    PollyParent
     
  14. goldenguru

    goldenguru New Member

    I was outraged by this. This is middle school. Some of these kids are as young as 11.

    As a parent I object to this on legal grounds. It is against the law for CHILDREN of this age to be having sex. There are statutory laws for good purpose. So the school district is in effect thumbing it's nose at the state laws.

    The parents have to sign a waiver but all services are completely confidential? Isn't that a bit of an oxymoron?

    The office can't administer two Tylenol for a headache without parental consent, but they are consenting to put a child on hormones? Give me a break.

    Wonder where the school district will be when/if a middle schooler gets pregnant. Remember that birth control 'effectiveness' is highly dependent upon being used correctly. Many middle schoolers can't remember their lunch money let alone to take an oral contraceptive correctly every day.

    Teach sex education in schools. Teach abstinence in schools. Teach contraceptive techniques in schools ... but for crying out loud - let parents guide the CHILD when he/she is making such life altering decisions.

    It's time the schools stop usurping our parental roles ... and do what they are meant to do ... teach our children academics.

     
  15. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Am I reading this wrong? I don't understand the outrage about something being taken away from parents here.

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Students treated at the centers must first get written parental permission, but under state law such treatment is confidential, and students decide for themselves whether to tell their parents about the services they receive.
    </div></div>

    As I read it, parents still have the right to control whether their child goes to the center in the first place. The confidentiality about whether the child starts birth control or not only kicks in once the child has written permission to visit the clinic.

    Or am I misinterpreting what it says?

    ~Kathy
     
  16. goldenguru

    goldenguru New Member

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> the school's clinic is the primary health care provider for some students </div></div>

    So you have a public health clinic in a school whose students are dependent upon it for health care. Of course parents will sign 'blank' consent forms ... or deny their kids health care.

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">the consent form does not clearly define the services being offered. </div></div>

    Sending your kid to the school nurse for a sore throat is qualitatively different than sending them to the school nurse for a gynecological exam and the prescription of birth control pills. Parents have the right to know. If the student suddenly comes down with appendicitis and needs surgery, shouldn't the school be obligated to notify the parents? Why does the school feel it has the right to take parents out of the loop in regard to reproductive decisions?

    Bear in mind that these kids are as young as 11. If this was a discussion concerning 16/17 years olds I would feel differently.
    That's what angers me.
     
  17. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I agree Kathy. DDD
     
  18. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    I'm not commenting on the "morals" of this, I'm commenting on the possibility of a medical treatment that I, as a parent, have no say so in.

    If a child is under 18, they cannot get their ears pierced or a tattoo without my permission (and in some states, not even then). Heck, in this state, they cannot purchase OTC allergy medications!!!

    But they could possibly be taking hormones without me knowing about it? Sorry, there's NO way can agree with that logic.

    Yes, I know all about the kids that cannot talk to their parents, etc. I also realize that I have no dog in this fight, since both of mine are boys, one is already married, and the second is almost 17 and has yet to have a date.

    But if I am legally responsible for the child, I intend to know all that happens to them. And I especially do not want medical treatment or proceedures without my knowledge. The child may not know the answers to some basic questions that need answers before being prescribed the medications (familiar history of high blood pressure and breast cancer, for instance).

    Again - I'm not stating this on a "moral" issue. I'm strictly looking at it from a medical standpoint. If it was any other medication, would you want your child to have it and you not know about it? I argued with my child's doctor over antibiotics, for goodness sake. I just didn't think it was necessary (and was proved correct) and since both of mine are allergic to penicillin, antibiotics always mean broad spectrum ones.
     
  19. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    They just had a bit on CNN with a member of the school board.

    It's a health center located in the school complete with a doctor. On the first day of school a form is sent home and the parents can either opt in or opt out of receiving medical services at the health center. Those that opt out will see the school nurse for sore throats, upset stomachs, etc. Those that opt in (those, for example, who do not have their own doctor) agree to all services, including birth control. You cannot opt in or out of specific services; you opt in or out of receiving medical services at the health center period.

    As a parent I have a problem with my child being prescribed birth control without my knowledge for a myriad of reasons. An 11 year old needs constant prodding to brush their teeth, take a shower, do their homework, take their dishes to the sink...I could go on and on. And they expect an 11 year old child to take a pill every day at the same time with no supervision? So, the child is going to think she is protected and is not at that age going to understand the importance of consistency. Further, if my 11 year old daughter is thinking about having sex I want to know about it. Why is any 11 year old thinking about having sex? I know it happens - and a lot more than I like to think - but as a parent I want to have a chance to educate my child, find out why my child is thinking about sex (peer pressure issues, self esteem issues, etc) and address it.

    In addition, does the child understand that birth control only prevents pregnancies? Is there any education at the time the pills are dispensed about STD's, including HIV?

    I think taking the parent out of the equation and putting a band aid on the issue is doing a great disservice to our children.
     
  20. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    You have it right, Kathy.

    I'm not wild about the idea of giving hormones to girls that young either. Or birth control that doesn't protect against STDs. Why do I think that if girls that young are having sex, they're having it with older slimeballs, not peers?
     
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