I read on MSN that a Maine middle school is going to offer contraception, including birth control pills and contraceptive patches, to its students. Some of the students are as young as eleven years old. Um..I have a problem with that. I have an eleven year old in middle school and if she were going to the school health center for birth control pills I think I would need to know that.
A supporter of the soon-to-be passed birth control policy basically says kids might not talk to their parents about sex and birth control or that the kid might not feel comfortable approaching his or her parent. Ok. Some parents suck at talking to their kids but it's still not the school's job to fill that role. How about offering communication classes to families to help them deal with that issue?
My daughter's middle school has an Interventionist Specialist whom I can go to with any concerns I have. If I feel I cannot approach my daughter, then the Interventionist Specialist will do it for me in a safe and non-threatening way. It's family therapy light. But, we don't have that issue. We talk about boys and dating in an only-slightly-uncomfortable-for-me kind of way.
Another big problem I have with the birth control policy, that the article does not discuss, is the legal question of how a school is going to prescribe a minor child birth control pills without parental consent. Students must first get written parental consent to be treated at the center, but the treatment is confidential. I would think at some point, the parents are going to know. At some point, the parents need to know. I certainly would want to know if my daughter is having sex and needs contraception or - worse - if she has an STD or is pregnant. Honestly, if my daughter is having sex and I don't know it, then something is amiss in my household that no school policy can fix.
I know some of my readers have middle schoolers and a lot of you have children. What do you think about this? Does it irk you too or do you think it's good policy?