On October 17, 2007, the Portland School Committee in Portland, Maine voted to allow the health center at the King Middle School in Portland, Maine, to offer birth control prescriptions to its students, who range in age from 10 to 15.
Excerpts from the ABC News report follows:
The Portland School Committee voted 7 to 2 last night to allow the health center at the King Middle School in Portland, Maine, to offer birth control prescriptions to its students, who range in age from 10 to 15. Dr. Pat Patterson, the medical director of School-Based Health Services in Portland said she was "thrilled" with the vote.Read the entire ABC News article and view the accompanying video here.
Proponents of the proposal tacked up black-and-white posters of a baby, contrasting the cost of raising a child with the cost of birth control, while several opponents bowed their heads in prayer. National and local media jostled for positions at the front of the room.
Mary Ibrahim, another Portland resident, said that just because kids may be having sex doesn't mean they should be having sex. And offering birth control services is a form of encouragement. "Let's be leaders. Let's be parents. Let's be grownups," said Ibrahim.
Amanda Rowe, the head nurse in Portland's school health centers, emphasized that students must have a signed parental permission slip to use the student health center. Although, by state law, if a student requests confidentiality, health care workers must honor it. Meaning birth control pills could be prescribed without a parent knowing.
Rowe said that patients fill out an 18-point health history form and risk questionnaire. If a student indicates that they are having sexual relations, the "discussion begins and includes a strong counseling component" said Rowe.
Overall, over the past four years, there were a total of 17 pregnancies at Portland's three middle schools. And that's why the caregivers felt so strongly that offering birth control prescriptions would fill a desperate need. "Many parents are not being honest with themselves. They just don't realize the extent of risky behaviors these kids are engaged in," said Amanda Rowe.
And read the AJC article here.
[EYES BUGGING OUT OF MY HEAD IN AMAZEMENT AS I READ THE ARTICLE]
maybe i'm just stuck in the 70's, but since when has schools been in the business of "planned parenting"?!? i believe that sex ed should be part of the school curriculum, but i am four square against this asinine reasoning for providing 12-, 13-, and 14-year old girls with birth control pills. if the school finds out that little mary jane is playing hide the ding-dong with the little boys at her school, she shouldn't be given a month's supply of contraceptives and sent back to the boys' locker room... i would think that little mary jane's parents (or legal guardian) should be notified and sexual education counseling would be necessary for the entire family.
by allowing youngsters to circumvent the authority of their parents and exercising "their privacy rights" without parental consent is WRONG! this practice shouldn't be done in high schools and it damn well shouldn't be done in middle schools. who would expect a 13-year old girl with the hots for some horny jock on the football team to make a reasonable and level-headed decision about whether to engage in sexual intercourse with that boy? much less decide whether or not she should be popping birth control pills so that she doesn't get pregnant... UGH! this story has made me ill.
if the parents have to be notified if the school nurse gives your child an aspirin, they surely should notify the parents if they are dispensing hormone-altering drugs! this is flat out wrong and those board members who voted for this provision should be removed from office.
and with the free pills, these kids will now think they have free reign to be sexually active and promiscuous... i have no doubt that the rate of STD's will climb dramatically in this community.