First off, my appologies, I snapped a bit more than the situation warrented.<quoted text>
Liam - I asked the question because you hadn't
said how you felt about the key issue in this
debate .... what of parental knowledge and consent? In your previous posts you implied
what your opinion was but did not say it out-
right, so I asked in order not to assume any-
thing that wasn't fair. Now you have answered
You see, Liam, as sad as it is that an 11 year
old might become sexually active, what is even
more disturbing is the realization that there
are people such as yourself who believe them-
selves justified in removing parents and/or
guardians from the discussion and the formula
for dealing with the problem in and out of the
An 11 year old girl contemplating sexaul activity
needs far more than birth control pills, as she
is incapable of understanding the full ramifica-
tions of her decision. The most important part
of the "treatment" is the person(s) who feeds,
clothes, and gives her shelter. You may, in your
commendable notion of "helping" the child, wish
to make sure she does not get pregnant, but it
is not your right nor your responsibility to
interject yourself into the equation except to
play a supporting role if you are a school nurse
who becomes aware of the issue. Without parental
knowledge and consent the entire process becomes
one of secrecy ... keeping the parent from
knowing and understanding what is going in their
If I were the parent and had not given informed
consent, I would understandably conclude that the
school district is not my ally in raising my
child, but a presumptive meddler that has chosen
to deliberately circumvent my trust and my right
to have a hand in one of the most important
decisions in a girl's life.
I am looking not so much at the typical middle school child (who is NOT having sex) but at the atypical child that is already in a bad place. Damage mitigation... preventing or minimizing any furhter damage. For a child to be having sex at that age indicates a child that is not getting love from the home environment. That is a child that is trading the use of their body for a semblance of affection.
What does that tell us about the home environment? A child that age should never have to seek love from anyone other than their parents. But what happens when that child is getting no love at home? Raising a child takes more than a stack of rules, three squares and a warm dry bed for the night.
Beyond that, children today go to schools that are far, far more diverse than ever before. The differences can be staggering: socio-economic, ethnic, religious, country of origin, immigration status, just to scratch the surface. Families can be nuclear, extended, mixed, single parent, homosexual parents, and I have even known families with poligamous parents. It is just not a Wonder white bread world any more.
End result... some kids know a lot more about sex than others, and they might be willing to share that info. Now thereare basically two ways to treat your children: cocoon them, which is harmful in its own way, or take the risk of them being exposed to sexuality too early. In the long run, it is far better to take the risk, but prepare them for it. Give them all the info they may ever need, give them the love they need and make damn sure that you will always listen to them openly, no matter what they bring up.
If (and only if) all parents could do that, then there would never be a reason for middle schools, or even high schools to hand out any form of contraceptives. Until then, it is all about damage control and mitigation.