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Condoms For Elementary Students? Yes, Says Mass. Town (no after all) - Page 3

post #41 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamadelbosque View Post
Oh, dont' worry I agree - 10 yr olds shouldn't have sex w/ each other. And yet, it happens. Should we keep them from doing it safely? Yes, we should try to keep them from doing it altogether, but that does *NOT* change the fact that it does and will happen. So wheres the harm in allowing them to have *ACCESS* to condoms?? Doesn't mean they have to get one, doesn't mean that if they have one they will use it. Just means that if they want to have sex, they can do so *safely*. Wheres the harm in that?
Yes, we should keep them from doing it safely or otherwise.

I can't figure out how a school could give a 10 year old access to condoms without at least implying that it is okay for that child to have sex.

The harm in a school giving a 10 year old child a condom is that the school would then be involved with the 10 year old having sex (if the child does have sex), which is not legal or acceptable under ANY circumstances.

Imagine a 10 year old going to the school nurse for condoms in order to have sex with another 10 year old. Imagine that one of those 10 year olds is your child. What is the right thing to do in this situation? If that was my child, I would not want the school to imply that sex is okay by giving my child the condom. I would want to be informed so that I could make sure without a shadow of a doubt that my child could not have sex with another child. Otherwise, I don't see how the situation could be anything but child neglect.

Please explain to me how this situation could be anything else because I'm not seeing it.
post #42 of 48
Having worked in a family planning clinic counseling kids about safe sex for several years:

a. High school is several years too late
b. Kids are often at risk if they talk to a parent, or if the parent is informed
c. Title X funding for family planning services without parental consent starts well before high school

Kids are having sex at 10, 11, 12, 13 years old. Many have same age partners, many have older partners. The legalities and ethics are certainly important arguments, but the day to day practice of keeping kids safe goes far beyond our legal or moral interpretations of right and wrong.

We can talk until we are blue in the face about why these kids are sexually active at such early ages, and we can point fingers all day long and cry 'neglect!' 'statutory rape!' 'where are the parents?!' but that isn't going to be any help for these children who do deserve to avoid sexually transmitted infections and who do not deserve to have to navigate parenthood while they are still children themselves.

My best friend became sexually active at age 11. She was bright, her parents were insightful, they never left her home without supervision. She and her partner found time anyway. The reality is that kids who want to be sexually active WILL find a way most of the time. To deny them ready access to condoms because we are too busy arguing the ethics and legalities in our ideal world is pejorative.
post #43 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Purple Sage View Post

Imagine a 10 year old going to the school nurse for condoms in order to have I would want to be informed so that I could make sure without a shadow of a doubt that my child could not have sex with another child. Otherwise, I don't see how the situation could be anything but child neglect.
Short of tying the child to you and never allowing them out of your sight, how do you plan to do that?

In this scenario, the nurse would ideally have the necessary skills to have a conversation with the child. It is not a matter of simply leaving a big basket of condoms out, the child has to request them, which opens doors to helping to protect that child from harm.
post #44 of 48
Thread Starter 
I can't even find the words. I feel sorry for kids these days that so many people think that grade schoolers can be protected from harm by being handed a condom. There is nothing normal about grade schoolers having sex. This attitude of well they are going to do it anyway so just give them condoms totally misses the point. We are talking about grade schoolers here, not 17 year olds.
post #45 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by confustication View Post
Short of tying the child to you and never allowing them out of your sight, how do you plan to do that?
Well, considering that I already have a teen who has not had sex, I guess I'll keep doing what I've already done.

And absolutely there is nothing wrong with crying 'neglect' and 'abuse' and 'rape' when we're talking about 10 year olds having sex. I can't think of any other words to describe it.

ETA: But if I found out that any of my children were having sex at 10 (or 11, 12, 13, etc.) then I would treat it as abuse and/or rape. The school giving them condoms wouldn't be any solution.
post #46 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post
I can't even find the words. I feel sorry for kids these days that so many people think that grade schoolers can be protected from harm by being handed a condom. There is nothing normal about grade schoolers having sex. This attitude of well they are going to do it anyway so just give them condoms totally misses the point. We are talking about grade schoolers here, not 17 year olds.

No one said it is a fix that will protect them from harm. However, it will help to protect them from further harm.

There are obviously huge issues with kids this young having sex, but it is not a help to them to simply be outraged about it. Allowing access to condoms through a school nurse would be a positive thing precisely because it DOES bring the matter to light. If the nurse is worth her salt, she will ask questions and may well be able to help protect that child. If the child says they are having sex with their 17 year old boyfriend- she CAN report that, and the child can be protected. Not allowing access actually drives activities further out of sight and doesn't allow for protection of these kids in any sense of the word.
post #47 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by confustication View Post
No one said it is a fix that will protect them from harm. However, it will help to protect them from further harm.

There are obviously huge issues with kids this young having sex, but it is not a help to them to simply be outraged about it. Allowing access to condoms through a school nurse would be a positive thing precisely because it DOES bring the matter to light. If the nurse is worth her salt, she will ask questions and may well be able to help protect that child. If the child says they are having sex with their 17 year old boyfriend- she CAN report that, and the child can be protected. Not allowing access actually drives activities further out of sight and doesn't allow for protection of these kids in any sense of the word.
I thought about this, and I do see what you're saying about opening communication between adults and children who are having sex too young. I just think that this should be attempted without giving kids the impression that sex is okay by giving condoms to children who are too young to consent to have sex in the first place.
post #48 of 48
I agree, and I don't ever think kids having sex at that age is acceptable, and I can say that without fail, preteens who came to me to talk about wanting birth control or condoms never left my office feeling that I was in support of that choice, or that I felt they were old enough to make that decision. Often, they left with a lot of education they didn't have to begin with and tools to understand how to say no, or not feel pressured to have sex. Often when they are interested in being sexually active at those ages there is a lot of complicated stuff going on behind the scenes, and they are not equipped to handle it themselves. Asking for a condom can be a doorway to giving them help and support that just isn't there somewhere else in their lives.

A program like this is absolutely not a tacit acceptance of preteen sex, and I do understand how it can appear that way, and that horrifies me as well. I also know that it could well be put into place without appropriate staff education and training, and that would make it far less helpful.
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