Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Condoming MPS

Milwaukee Public School Board’s Innovation/School Reform committee passed by a vote of 5-0 the passing out of condoms to high school students. On the surface it sounds like a good idea. Really who doesn't want to lower teen pregnancy numbers (other than the teens who choose to have sex) and the spread of STD's (other than the teens who choose to have sex).

One of the arguments used to promote the passing out of condoms are the following statistics from the MJS article and a CDC survey.
On the survey, which was administered to middle- and high-school students last spring, 63.1% of high schoolers reported having had sexual intercourse. When the survey was administered in 2003, just under 60% of students reported having had sex.

Reported condom usage among sexually active teenagers has changed significantly from 2003 to 2009, however. In 2003, 70.5% of sexually active students reported using a condom. In 2009, only 66.2% of high schoolers having sex said they were using a condom.

Further on in the MJS article it states "Other places, such as Philadelphia and New York, have experimented with offering free contraception in high schools." What I'd be interested in knowing is what change are they having on the statistics quoted above. If none, then I question what good is passing out the condoms going to do.

I wonder if the following will be discussed by the high school nurses when the students come in for their free condoms.
“Research studies have not confirmed that male latex condoms prevent transmission of human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV infection is currently the most prevalent sexually-transmitted disease. High risk subtypes of sexually-transmitted HPV cause 70 percent of cervical cancer in women, genital and anal cancers in men. The only way you can prevent getting an HPV infection is to avoid direct contact with the virus. Handing out condoms gives our youth a false sense of security about their sexual health."

Way to many other question arise here including what I consider most important and that's parental involvement. There is just something wrong with parents choosing to send their children to a school and then not being involved in all aspects of what is happening concerning their child at the school.

What if they child still contracts a STD or becomes pregnant. Is the school liable? If not is anyone associated with the program?

Something just doesn't seem right about this decision.

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