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Opening Arguments

The end is near

Nothing controversial here, no siree:

When kindergarten through fifth grade students return to class at Veterans Memorial Elementary School in Provincetown, Mass., this fall, they'll be able to ask the school nurse for condoms.

Thanks to a new, district-wide policy approved by the Provincetown School Board, condoms are now available to students in all schools, regardless of their age. Parents will not be informed if their kids request condoms.

Officials say that there's no set age when sexual activity starts and students who ask for condoms will also receive counseling and information on abstinence.

Thank goodness somebody is paying attention to the out-of-control promiscuity of kindergartners and first graders and has the good sense to give the kids condoms. And who knows what disruptions in the education process those pesky parents would cause if they were informed?

The headline on the story was "Should Elementary Schools Give Condoms to Students?" Somebody at ABC News actually thought that was a serious question worthy of debate. Lord.


Thu, 06/24/2010 - 12:43pm

Why does this bother you? I, like you, assume most kids aren't sexually active in elementary school (funny how you changed "elementary school" to "kindergartners and first-graders").
But some are. Would you prefer they not have access to condoms? Youthful pregnancy and AIDS are preferable to permitting the occasional child to ask for a condom?
I'd be impressed by a child mature enough to practice safe sex at an early age.
My guess is most of the kids will fill them with water and throw them at each other.
But don't worry, young people have no sex drive. No sirree.

tim zank
Thu, 06/24/2010 - 4:02pm

Littlejohn, no offense, but unless you've had kids, it's pretty easy to be cavalier about stuff like this. We don't want people raising our children. We prefer to do that ourselves. If my kid needs sneakers OR condoms, I'll make the decision as to when they get them.
The school and the state have no business whatsoever dispensing condoms.

Lewis Allen
Thu, 06/24/2010 - 7:21pm

Wow. C'mon, littlejohn, I consider myself a liberal, too, but this? I think if we stand for this then we may deserve some of the invective and sweeping generalizations that come our way.

john b. kalb
Thu, 06/24/2010 - 9:23pm

Lewis - AND some of the to-the-point specifics, also!

Thu, 06/24/2010 - 10:31pm

Sometimes, the odd treatment of children in American schools can best be called a mild irritation. Compare the condom kerfuffle to the out-and-out exploitation and mind-warping of youngsters in Islamic Palestine:


Leo Morris
Fri, 06/25/2010 - 7:56am

UPDATE: After the predictable outcry, the school committee members "scrambled" to "clarify that their intent was not so bold."

tim zank
Fri, 06/25/2010 - 9:21am

From the NYT article "Dr. Singer said a revised policy would probably include more specifics about how to handle a condom request from an elementary school student

Larry Morris
Fri, 06/25/2010 - 10:14am

Ditto, Tim. They are grown with families of their own now, but I would have been livid if some school had given one of my 2 daughters a condom without telling me. Being a parent is hard enough without public officials doing things to undermine your authority without telling you.

Andrew J.
Fri, 06/25/2010 - 2:47pm

"We don

Larry Morris
Fri, 06/25/2010 - 3:15pm

Here, I'll take this one, ...
"And for the parents who don

Andrew J.
Fri, 06/25/2010 - 3:30pm

What "agency" is going to handle very well those situations where parents don't? Kid goes to public school and wants to have sex with a classmate, where does the agency get involved? You are assuming these kids of vacant parents are consistently involved with other agencies other than public school, and those teach abstinence and give out condoms. For many of these kids, the school system is the only "agency" they are exposed to.
And Larry, if we adhered to your argument, there would be no ADA requirements, for example, because such a "sweeping reform" is meant to fix just a small percentage of the problem.
"Don't screw with my life just become someone else can't get theirs straight." The victim here, however, isn't the "someone else would can't get their life straight,'' meaning the parent, but the child who gets to suffer as a result of indifference.

Larry Morris
Fri, 06/25/2010 - 3:57pm
Andrew J.
Fri, 06/25/2010 - 4:09pm

That's nonsense. I used to cover stories when ADA was first being enforced and how businesses were going apeshit having to put in ramps and elevators for the occasional person in a wheelchair.
And you see just one victim, the parents doing their job. I see the kids from parents who don't pay attention ruining their lives by getting pregnant as victims as well.
My daughter was parented well; she didn't do drugs. Her locker at Northrop was searched regardless just because a few parents were clueless about the fact their kids were using. Should I have told government, in this case the police and school system, to stay out of my parenting and don't rifle through her backpack and locker?

tim zank
Fri, 06/25/2010 - 4:48pm

Heres my 2 cents in r/e AJ's "And for the parents who don

Kevin Knuth
Mon, 06/28/2010 - 9:59am

And teens wind up pregnant, then either need welfare assistance or want abortions, and the right wonders "how did this happen?"

Leo Morris
Mon, 06/28/2010 - 10:11am

Good lord, Kevin, Littlejohn, Andrew, et. al: There were K-5th graders they were talking about -- that means 5- to 9-year-olds! Your reflexive embrace of "we can't stop the kids anyway so let's make them safe" in this case sounds almost depraved.

Bob G.
Mon, 06/28/2010 - 2:47pm

Yeah, Leo...I was wondering about that myself...LOL!

And I'd bet a lot of those 5-9 year olds are probably ALREADY ON WELFARE!
(thanks to lazy-baby-mama with the victicratic mentality, passed down through the decades as a "reward fof bad behavior")
Oh...sorry...didn't mean to infer that.
(yeah, I did)

Andrew J.
Mon, 06/28/2010 - 8:06pm

If those kids have as role model mothers "already on welfare, rewarded for bad behavior," then getting them accustomed to birth control at an early stage sounds even wiser, don't you think?

Larry Morris
Tue, 06/29/2010 - 8:08am

Boy, can we ever get off track - this was originally about an over-reaching school district usurping the role of parents - let's stick to the topic and not get drawn off by side discussions of ADA, welfare, etc. Schools need to teach, parents need to parent - and don't stretch the "schools need to teach" to cover anything, you all know what I mean. May, can we ever wander off topic, ...