It seems that Maine has its own share of Mr. Garrisons (who in one South Park Episode teaches kindergartners how to properly use a condom). On to the story fromMaine:
Maine school to offer contraceptivesQuestion: at what point does facilitating statutory rape make you an accessory to the crime?
After an outbreak of pregnancies among middle school girls, education officials in this city have decided to allow allow one school's health center to make birth control pills available to girls as young as 11.
King Middle School will become the first middle school in Maine to make a full range of contraception available, including birth control pills, patches and condoms. There are no national figures on how many middle schools provide such services. Most middle schoolers range in age from 11 to 13.
"It's very rare that middle schools do this," said Divya Mohan, a spokeswoman for the National Assembly on School-Based Health Care.
Portland's three middle schools reported 17 pregnancies during the last four years, not counting miscarriages or terminated pregnancies that weren't reported to the school nurse.
The Portland School Committee approved the plan, offered by city health officials, on a 7-2 vote Wednesday night. Whether the prescriptions would be offered this school year or next wasn't immediately clear.
King is the only one of the three schools with a health center, primarily because it has more students who get free or reduced-price lunch, said Lisa Belanger, who oversees Portland's student health centers.
Five of the 134 students who visited King's health center during the 2006-07 school year reported having sexual intercourse, said Amanda Rowe, lead nurse in Portland's school health centers.
Committee member Sarah Thompson, also the mother of a King eighth-grader, supported the policy, even though it made her "uncomfortable."
"I know I've done my job as a parent," Thompson said. "(But there) may be a time when she doesn't feel comfortable coming to me... (and) not all these kids have a strong parental advocate at home."
Chairman John Coyne opposed the change, saying the roles of social agencies and public schools have blurred over the years. "At some point there needs to be a clearing of the gray lines," he said.
The other "no" vote Wednesday night came from Ben Meiklejohn, who said a parental consent form, which allows students to receive any kind of treatment at the school health center, does not clearly define the services being offered.
Some opponents cited religious and health objections.
"We are dealing with children," said Diane Miller, a former school nurse said. "I am just horrified at the suggestion."
Another opponent, Peter Doyle, said he felt the proposal violated the rights of parents and puts students at risk of cancer because of hormones in the pill.
Supporters said a small number of students at King are sexually active, but they need better access to birth control.
"This isn't encouraging kids to have sex. This is about the kids who are engaging in sexually activity," Richard Veilleux said.
Condoms have been available since 2000 at King's health center. While students need parental permission to be treated there, the treatment itself is confidential under state law.
At King, birth control prescriptions will be given after a student undergoes a physical exam by a physician or nurse practitioner, Belanger.
Nationally, about one-fourth of student health centers that serve at least one grade of adolescents 11 and older dispense some form of contraception, said Mohan, whose Washington-based organization represents more than 1,700 school-based centers nationwide.
And the "they're just gonna do it anyway" argument is another form of the bigotry of low expectationsTM. High School kids are probably going to experiment with drugs & alcohol, but you don't see in-school liquor stores, head shops, or needle exchange programs - at least, not outside of San Francisco.
A few other comments:
- Why is it that 18 year old males volunteers for military service are considered by the Left to be "children" - incapable of making an informed decision - while at the very same time they consider 11 year olds to be capable of engaging in sexual intercourse.
- This has very little to do with disease prevention, since the pill is part of the program. One wonders if the condoms will come in a variety of flavors, be "ribbed for her pleasure," etc...
- If I lived in this school district, I would be pulling my kids out of this school; if I have to consent for my child to get his/her ears pierced, take an aspirin, etc, but don't have to consent to the distribution of a birth control pill, the district clearly is filled with adults who are clueless
We know that Barack Obama actively promoted sex-ed for kindergarten when he was a state Senator in Illinois, but it'd be interesting to see what the other Lefties think about this topic.
Michelle Malkin is also covering
ARC: St Wendeler