Monday, October 29, 2007

It all started in Maine over a health clinic...

Shall we?

A middle school in the great state of Maine (love ya like hot chowdah on a cold day!) has a health clinic. Parents may or may not elect to give consent for their children to use the clinic.

Great!

The clinic staff noticed that several students were sexually active and some were manifesting the potential outcomes of sexual activity…like getting pregnant.

Okay.

The staff made a recommendation that the clinic be allowed to dispense birth control pills (it’s my understanding that condoms were already available)…the school board got their debate on and made a ruling that the clinic would begin dispensing the pill to student patients…and all hell broke out.

Oh shit.

Now, this bitch has been volunteering with young women in the city of St. Louis for years and I am a mentor to a 14 year old young adult. As a result, I find myself incapable of tolerating bullshit on this topic.

Middle school students may be having sex.

Blink.

Middle school students can get pregnant…can contract STDs…and can be involved in sexually exploitative relationships.

I’ll say it one more time…middle school students are having sex and are, therefore, subject to all the good things and all the bad things that come from having sex.

We can debate parental rights versus the responsibilities of public health officials…we can debate the moral issue and the role of the media…we can even get into privacy rights as they relate to parents and student patients.

We can do all that shit and middle school students will still be engaging in sexual activity…it’s just less uncomfortable to do all of that shit than to dig into the issue of youth sex. It’s just feels better to slam the door…shut the book…and avoid the should never be avoided discussion than to talk openly, educate in a comprehensive manner and demystify S-E-X.

So each day another distraction-based argument is added to the mix in the hopes that overturning the decision to dispense birth control pills to middle school students in Maine will overturn the fact that middle school students are having sex.

But it won’t...and we all know that…and introducing the issue of middle schools reporting the sexual activity of students to the authorities is just more distraction based politics of the mind with some daunting ramifications.

Middle school students may be having sex…and now their ability to get information and protection without also bringing down the wrath of their parents is being debated through the language of ownership rather than guardianship. We’re talking about people not property and young people have rights too. Why not discuss those rights and how best to empower young people to make the right decisions and the responsibilities that come with those rights…Lawd, have mercy…rather than the potential legal notification of parents, administrators and the District Attorney if a student happens to go to the doctor and mention that last night he had sex.

Some middle school students are having sex…and the policy of denial will ensure that the wages of that sex are more likely to be disease, babies or death.

Many middle school students are experimenting with and curious about sex…and you should have had the talk years ago but you can still have that talk today. Comprehensive sex education often delays sexual activity and young people cite their parents or guardians as major influencers in their lives. Tell them why you want them to wait…tell them that not waiting comes with responsibilities…and tell them that they can come to you either way.

At some point we will be forced to address the issues of sex, young people and parents who are reluctant or unable to or lack the knowledge to teach their children lessons better learned prior to sex than during a make-out session disguised as "we’re not doing anything, honest...we're just watching High School Musical".

It is long past time for communities to be proactive and have the difficult conversations now…

…because this issue isn’t going anywhere and sex isn’t losing its popularity, which is why we’ve got a constant supply of middle school students who may or may not be having sex.

8 comments:

Isabelle said...

I totally agree with you Shark-Fu! As a student of history, it amazes me how far we have regressed in the last two hundred years alone. In Elizabeth I's time, the average age of marriage was 12 years old for girls and 14 years old for boys.. not much older than these middle schoolers! My own grandmother was married at 16.. Now we have politicos and school administrations and parents who are horrified to think that kids this age are having sex.. The point is, it GOING to happen, and the sooner they address the issue in a realistic way, the better.

Phil said...

Great post.

Anonymous said...

I've often wanted to see a chart of politicians, civic officials, etc. next to the age at which their mother and grandmothers gave birth to their first children.

ghost lurker

Maya's Granny said...

My understanding of this was that the parents can opt out of having their kids allowed to use the clinic, and if they opt in, then the kids have privacy. So, if the parent doesn't want his kid to get these services all he has to do is opt out.

I also had the impression that there was no problem with this in the school district, but rather in the national reaction.

James said...

totally not on topic, but did you see this, about the "fake" FEMA press conference on Tuesday about the CA fires? Apparently , they had some staffers pretend to be reporters, lobbing softballs at the deputy director, then called the *real* reporters up about 15 minutes before-hand and told them they could listen in on a toll-free line, but they couldn't ask any questions.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/26/AR2007102600807.html?tid=informbox

and

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/29/AR2007102901379.html

Democracy Now! says that the WaPo broke the story, but these two (really from the AP and Reuters, and then only follow-up pieces) are all I could find on it.

The Lazy Iguana said...

Hey I got a great idea!

Lets just pretend this little problem does not exist and maybe it will go away!!!

Sounds good to me.

Leota2 said...

What interests me is if any of these parents, administrators and school board members are seeking medical help for their shocking cases of collective amnesia--you know-- them forgetting that THEY had sex as teens . . . .

the Inuriated Faggot said...

Well said ABB. I'm really curious as to why the Sex Taboo exists, but am glad you point out that discussing why these things exist doesn't really matter unless you get your 'call to action' from discussing them.

HammerChe