I decided to take over Jen’s “Feedback Friday” post for today. Well, actually, I had to, because I lost a bet with her. My Cleveland Indians were unable to defeat her Pittsburgh Pirates in their inter-league series. So the loser had to write a Guest Post for the other one’s blog. But I’m glad to be here. My name is Craig and I run The Constant Complainer. Nice to meet you! And I believe I have a topic that will interest all of you.
Let’s start with a question. How old should a child be when you have “the talk” with them? I know there are a lot of talks you could have with them. But in this case, I am referring to “THE” talk – safe sex.
Recently, a school committee in Provincetown, Massachusetts, “unanimously adopted a condom distribution policy for the elementary school and high school. Under the new policy at Veteran's Memorial Elementary School, which has students from pre-Kindergarten to the sixth grade, condoms will be available for any student of any age that asks.” You can read the story here.
The most interesting part to the new policy – parents can’t say no to it. So realistically, a child could ask for a condom and the school would hand it over. And they might not even tell the parents about it. To make the situation even more embarrassing for the school district, the superintendent, Dr. Beth Singer, made an insensitive comment when she said that “she wouldn't expect first graders or kindergartners to ask for condoms, except to possibly blow them up as balloons.”
After a media backlash, Dr. Singer quickly tried to clarify the school’s stance by saying, “We’d have a conversation with the student that was age appropriate and not just hand over a condom.”
But that’s exactly my point. Who are they to decide if a child will receive a condom or not and who are they to make this decision without consulting the parent? Now, taking for granted that a pre-Kindergarten student is most likely not knowledgeable on what a condom is – some students in that school will be – and once one condom is given out, it will be the talk of the school. Does that cause the flood gates to open then?
I have a six-year-old daughter. And as much as I’d like to protect her from the world, I know she’ll pick up things and hear things that make me unhappy. But it shouldn’t be sex-talk in Kindergarten. In this case, I feel that the parents should be having the discussion. Not the school – especially if the policy doesn’t require the school to notify the parents. Apparently the Governor has stepped in to express his dislike about the new policy. It should be interesting to see where it goes from here…
It's Feedback Friday and YOUR turn to weigh in!