Condoms are now available without parental consent at the public schools in the Provincetown School District. While school policies distributing free birth control can be quite common, it just so happens in this small community in Massachusetts, grades K - 12 will soon all be housed together. Meaning the smallest school kids are also included in this free condom policy.
Naturally parents, the media, and politicians are freaking out.
Over at MomLogic Kate Tuttle, a Massachusetts mom, explains why this isn't the end of all things righteous and holy. As someone who also went to a small school in a very, very small town -- I can also understand the logic behind the free condoms for kids policy.
Teenagers are going to have sex, most of them without parental consent. (Really, what kid asks his parents before having sex?) I would much rather have my child getting a condom from a school nurse who can also offer other health advice and food for thought than the guy at the 7-Eleven, or god forbid, not getting a condom at all.
Now about that pesky "first graders can get condoms" thing. The school board did not put an age limit on who can receive condoms because if you're telling kids to practice safe sex, you can't say "except for the 14-year-olds and under." You'd like it if 14-year-olds were not having sex, but let's face it -- some of them are. Better they're using a condom than creating another life. Rather than come up with an arbitrary number, the policy makes condoms available to any kid who asks.
Before you panic about 7-year-olds requesting prophylactics, stop and take a deep breath. Really, how many first graders do you think will be asking the school nurse for condoms? If a first grader does ask a school nurse for a condom, don't you think that school nurse will be doing some serious background checks on the kid? Which can only be a good thing.
So while the idea that my first grader (if I had one) could get a condom if she wanted one may feel uncomfortable, when looking at the big picture, it totally makes sense that a school policy with a public health benefit would not impose an age limit.
Feel better? Or still freaking out?
Image via david drexler/Flickr