So your teenager is trick or treating door-to-door on Halloween and heads on up to the door of a house in your neighborhood. The door opens and your child, upon being asked if he or she is 16 or older, is given, along with a chocolate bar and a toothbrush, a safe sex talk and some condoms.
Yes, condoms. And a safe sex talk.
That's precisely what teen trick or treaters in Silverton, Oregon got when they trick or treated at the home of Kathleen and Daniel Harris this past Halloween.
Kathleen Harris told the Statesman Journal that she's been handing out condoms to 16-and-up teens on Halloween since the height of the national AIDS epidemic back in the early '90s and has only gotten one complaint.
Kathleen's husband, Daniel Harris, is a physician at Silverton Hospital. He formerly delivered babies -- between 2005 and 2007 about 140 babies -- and about 10 percent of those babies were born to teen moms.
Daniel Côté, a dad whose 14-year-old was mistakenly given some condoms at the Harris's door, said, "It is hard for me as a parent to imagine any justification for giving children condoms without parents' consent."
A psychologist interviewed in the same story said that condom hand-outs can "force" teens to address sexuality before they are ready. He says parents know their kids best and might then know when they are ready to hear and process this information.
So what do you think? I tend to err on the side of "it takes a village" and I don't consider any responsible sex education a bad thing. If my kids don't hear the important aspects of sex education in the message I provide them (because kids pretty much want to die when their parents talk about sex; remember?), then I'll be glad if they'll hear it from another responsible adult, especially if that's a physician neighbor. I don't really agree with the psychologist who says parents know their kids best. Doesn't it entirely go against teen psychology to let your parents in on the gory details of your thoughts or actions regarding sex?
Of course, this is the kind of scenario I'd have to take on a case by case basis, as I might feel differently if the message being handed out wasn't in line with my basic beliefs.
What do you think? Are Kathleen and Daniel Harris community-loving neighbors or intrusive ones?
Image via Condom Country