The controversial topic of schools giving out condoms to students is nothing new. However- one town in Massachusetts is taking that to a whole new level. Provincetown, Mass. elementary schools just approved a new condom distribution policy that sets no age limit for students to obtain condoms. On top of that, no parental consent is necessary. The policy says that students must speak to a school nurse or counselor before the condoms are given out. Although the policy clearly states the schools do not approve of sexual activity, they want all of their students to be prepared, even ones as young as first grade.
So do you think this new school policy goes too far? We’ll share some of your comments during the 10 o’clock hour of CNN Newsroom with Kyra Phillips.
Thinking that distributing condoms will encourage promiscuity is like saying wearing a seat belt encourages bad driving.
Administrators never know really when to draw the line, not in this case or many others. Condoms for students under the age of 12 is irresponsible no matter how noble the intentions of such disease prevention programs are. Perhaps common sense is being held hostage by activist administrators, but whatever the reason, they need to reconsider and apply some logic and common sense to the situation.
I think that if kids that young are using condoms for something besides making water balloons then our country is doing something very wrong when raising our youth .
It will encourage more interest in sex because the kids will now think they can have sex and their won't be any consequences.
I'd be interested in seeing this story revisited in 1 year and finding out how many condoms were actually handed out in the elementary school.
Giving kids that young condoms would be like giving them a brand new bike that they just cant wait to try out .
I think this is going to far..I have 4 boys and the thought of them recieving condoms in the 1st grade makes me sick to my stomach...what happened to NAP DAY??? All the school is doing is promoting is that it is ok to have sex.. I am outraged over this...
So having your 4th grader experience the 'consequence' of HPV is a pyrrhic victory, no?
What a brilliant idea! It does not mean that the youngest of children will use them, it does mean that using a condom for sex will be common place in there minds when ready for sexual activity. The statistical use of condoms is way down, the schools need to teach safe sex as parents clearly are not. This is a national health issue not a sex issue.
I think this school system has gone too far. I am outraged by this. This is opening the door for the birds and bees talk to occur way sooner than it should have to be addressed. My oldest 2 children are in 2nd grade and Kindergarten. If one of them came home with a condom, you can guarantee there would be a huge up roar. Think about it–they are 8 and 5
I think it's absolutely ridiculous to think that education leads to promiscuity. There's a reason why those whom are less educated have higher rates of teenage pregnancy. America needs to stop worrying about protecting children from the world and start educating and preparing them for it. At what age is appropriate for the education to begin?? That depends on each individual and how they have grown up.
I think the school is going to far. I have a 6th grade grandson and I am sure he wouldn't even know what the condom is for. I do know his Dad and Mom have talked to him about sex but he isn't into girls. The parents should have a say it their kids are given condoms.
As for condoms in the elementary schools.....I'd like to know how in the world a condom could even fit a little boy. Is he expected to wear it as a sock???????
Keeping sex and safer sex practices a mystery doesn't keep sex from happening. Your first grader is not going to have sex simply because they have seen a condom. More importantly though, if your sixteen year old is determined to have sex, they are going to have sex even if they haven't seen a condom before in their life. I work as a peer sexuality counselor outside of Boston, and I support Provincetown in their efforts to open the safer sex discussion. This new policy will encourage children to be open about their questions, talk to their parents and teachers–no matter what age they are.
I work at a chain drugstore and I have caught, on multiple occasions, kids (boys and girls) under the age of 12 stealing condoms. Giving out condoms does not encourage having sex. As someone who just graduated high school, I can tell you that kids will have sex whether they have condoms or not, so why not give them out? This policy should be a country-wide policy.
The last thing you want is parents having control over whether or not kids can get the condoms. That would defeat the whole purpose. Kids are going to start having sex earlier and since parents are unwilling to talk to their kids about it the school must take proactive steps. If parents don't want their kids to be given condoms in school then they should start being parents and helping their kids. And by helping I don't mean by lying to them about sex and trying to scare them into not doing it.
Unreal!!!! This school needs to be closed down. No rights for parents in regards to their child in elementary school. My child would not go to this school.....There should be a line of parents outside this school with picket signs and lawyers along with them.
I have thirty-eight years of experience as a public school administrator and teacher. All studies I have read indicate that the first grade is too young to be giving out condoms. I would agree with any plan that would give out condoms to seventh graders if requested by the student. I would never force a student to accept a condom from the school.
Living in Kentucky I see children at the age of 12 getting pregnant because literally they are bored. This is a problem! I do not agree with elementary schools taking this extreme of step though. I think they are trying to head off the problem so people come into their sexuality informed but we are already making our children grow up too fast. If they want to head this problem off then parents need to be more involved with their childrens lives which means we need to change our culture and work place to allow this interaction. Better parenting not earlier information is KEY.
The availability of condoms does not make people want to have sex and it would be naive to think that kids of that age aren't starting to experiment with sex, thinking about it, or are about to begin. The reason the STD and pregnancy rates are so much higher in our country is because we believe just teaching abstinence actually has an effect on kids.
Newsflash, they will still have sex. Whether they are prepared or not is up to us.
It is not the schools business to take this matter out of the legal guardian/parents control. My tax dollars contribute to this? I had to purchase calculators for both of my children for their math classes at a cost of $100.00 each. How about spending tax dollars on books and supplies that will educate our children to be good thinkers. The government is out of control at every level.
Kate from MA.
The idea is a product of our licentious society. We have a society that is focused on materialism and self-gratification. Our societal morality is so low that even giving out condoms to first graders is considered a good idea by government officials (i.e., public school officials). Does anyone see the real problem here?
This isn't a "liberal" or "progressive" value ... this is idiocy. Every time we take two steps forward progressively (especially in the realm of sexual education), some buffoon comes up with a bonehead idea like this. Now the backlash from the right will be, "SEE!! We told you they'd try to indoctrinate our kids!".
This is the worst idea since deepwater drilling.
NOTE: I shudder to think of the fate of a the teacher that hands my first grader a condom after I have specifically ordered otherwise.
Sex education is necessary for middle school kids and up, condoms given to little kids is like giving them a permission slip or a hall pass to have sex, I would consider myself a liberal but this is not liberal it is stupid, the superintendent should resign –
Liz, Natick MA
Schools and administrators keep imploring the parents to get involved...and rightfully so. There aren't enough parents out there doing their jobs...especially regarding sex education. That still doesn't give those schools and administrators the right or authorization to distribute condoms to any student who asks for them...without parental consent. This development is absolutely wrong!
@Moiria Sandness well. the hope is You've raised your kids well enough that they wouldnt ask for or need condoms that young. It is obvious to me that this policy is directed at high schoolers, but available to all because if you said "you must be in 6th grade to receive condoms" it would pique those younger kids interest..plus they could just ask their older friends "
hey get me one". i live in a rural town, and 1.6% of sixth graders in my county have gotten pregnant at least once. A former class mate of mine had 3 kids by the time she graduated high school.
This seems like a bit of sensationalism: The policy is likely that all students have access to condoms on request, but there's the absurd result that "all students" includes elementary students. My bet is that's a side effect of the policy, but not the intent.
Condoms being available in school on request without parental consent is a-ok if it's age appropriate, and the existence of condoms don't cause sex. This story will evaporate as soon as the school district rolls their eyes and says, "Ok, ok... 'all students grades 8 and up...' sheesh."
Besides, if you're such an inactive parent that your kids are asking for condoms in third grade that's more a comment on your own parenting skills...
Condoms before puberty. What for?
This is an abomination!! When the school system overrides a parents' rights AND responsibilities, they have gone TOO far! I work in an elementary school and I see that students know more than they should at that age. However, passing out condoms is an invitation to have sex!
A HUGE reason that young children know so much about sex is television. A child with an otherwise preoccupied parent can see ANYthing on TV. Even commercials are full of sexual innuendo.
WE, as a country....as responsible adults, need to protect the children from things they don't need to know yet.
Passing out condoms is NOT the answer. And, passing them out whether or not a parent agrees to it is CRIMINAL!!
It is time to home school our children if we are to maintain the morals and standards of decency we wish to teach. They, the school systems and the media, are doing nothing but flushing these morals and standards on which this country was based right down the toilet. They are shoving immorality right into our face at every crossroad.
So...they must be the only public school that has an excess budget....why not provide smaller classroom sizes instead and have the opportunity to offer more indidual attention per student...if it involved my child...I would be off to the courts..and removing my child from the school.
I think the larger point here is that we're talking about an entire school. Do you really, as a network, want to fuel the fires of sensationalism? How do you as a global organization, full of intelligent people, suggest they, as a Public School District, supporting THOUSANDS of students, on a student by student basis, determine who's ready and who's not?
To even suggest that the district's efforts should be spent more on the controversy than the outside-the-box solutions they've come up with, is a duplicitous message that is counter to your supposed interest and support of the ingenuity and forward thinking of this country! It challenges the very Entrepreneurial "mind" your colleagues are trying to promote and foster.
Use your skills as an organization/organism to analyze your own information before off-handedly criticizing someone who's taking on actual problems with creative, innovative solutions.
Help being a part of *now*. Not a cheerleader for hanging on to "How it Used to Be."
Handing out condoms is like saying...it's OK to have sex, just protect yourself. How about some of these so called "educators" teaching abstinence. And how can any teacher get away with telling parents they can distribute condoms and the parents have no right to interfere?It is the parents' rights to teach their chldren right from wrong Agreed, many parents are not doing their jobs these days. I guess it's much easier to hand out condoms than to have classes on abstinence. This world has become so immoral that we can't even trust our teachers anymore. I would suggest, given the obvious where their heads are these days, that these educators have their heads fitted for condoms!!
Giving out condoms to children in grade one is absolutely absurd! What kind of a message does it send to these little guys who have just graduated from diapers to underwear? I worry that giving out condoms to children this young encourages them to start thinking about sex and, perhaps, may even lead them to believe that sex is an acceptable activity for anyone at any age. Children this young should be focusing on making friends, playing on the playground, and learning how to read and write. What are we doing to our children? In an attempt to protect them, I think we are completely stealing their innocence and forcing them to grow up much, much too fast. What will be next? An instructional video on sex at recess?!?
I am a 72 year old retired nurse. To have condoms available in schools is a good idea. I remember the 1st time I cared for a newly delivered mother who was 12 years old – the same age as one of my daughters at the time. She was totally bewildered by her experience. If condoms had been available, the boy might have tried using one. It is a responsibility of parents to explain to their children why sex as such a young age is something they do not want and that the only 100% effective birth control is total abstinence! Peer pressure is very strong for kids. The best way for children to learn healthy and safe practices is to set the example and talk with their young children when they are young and growing.
The world is going mad and this just is another hole in the head to prove it. What do the children really know about sex that would make the school distribute condoms and if they know that much then I'd be looking at the parents. This is a case of .. when life hands you condoms , make balloons.
This is crazy having a 4th grader recieving condoms!
@ all of the "outraged" parents on here...id like to personally bet you will be a grandparent by the time your kid hits high school. Every "bad" kid that i knew in school, from the teen parents to the drug dealers, had parents like you. oblivious.
it is an awful idea to give school kids codoms because it will provoke the older kids to have sex, when the original idea was to prevent kids to have sex until marriage.
It is not up to the schools to teach safe sex. It is not up to the schools to teach religion. It is up to the schools to teach math, reading, writing, and encourage critical thinking skills which will enable them to think clearly about subject matter so they may come to some conclusion as to how they want to address a problem or live their own lives. This notion that the government will take care of all problems, is ridiculous.
If what you are doing isn't working, it's time to do something else; sex and health education has not worked as we've been doing it.
You don't encourage a child to run into traffic just because you put a button on a pole at an intersection to use the cross walk with safety.
Sex and health education most incude insight into the real responsiblities of unplanned pregnancy and its life-long consequences.
do you think that a children know enough to handle infomation on driving a car, much more using of life giving or death information. even if a counsel is giving will they under stand the real understanding of life or death.
you people are bringing STDs in to this. really? how many 4th graders do you know with STDs.
but truth be told, kids are having sex at young ages, and 4th grade is about the time questions start. I dont have a problem with these kids having them, lets be honest, 99% arent going to ask for them anyways, the out of the 1% that does, only 0.5 will open the pack, and 0.4 of that 0.5 will use it for a water ballon. the 0.1 left will be to small to even fit the condom.
This is an excellent idea! As the school superintendent said, "I'd rather parent's tell their kids that they can't have sex rather than they can't have a condom." Unfortunately, kids are going to experiment and it doesn't matter what race, age, or economic status they fall under. It is about time America takes bold actions like this–thinking more proactively rather than reactively. No wonder America has the highest child (yes, teens and pre-teens) pregnancy rates in the world. This school should be commended, not scolded. If parent's don't like what this school is doing, that is okay and they have a simple choice– unroll their kid and send them to a school that doesn't care that kids are having unprotected sex.
Also...as if the sexual relations trend between teachers and students needed anymore fuel to the fire. Now the teachers can hand out condoms without parental consent or knowledge? Doesn't this just give the student and teacher more incentive to engage in illicit activity? Just saying.
Maybe instead of the schools focusing on handing out condoms, they should provide classes for parents on how to be open and talk to their kids about sex. I think that handing out condoms to elementary school students, who will be getting most of their information from their peers, is irresponsible.
This is the board of education going to far. Now they are telling our kids that if you want to have sex don't ask your parents just ask your teacher she will give you what you need. So whats next they will start giving out birth control pills or the morning after pill so parents are completely in the dark now. Some one needs to put a stop to educaters overeducating about things that are none of their business. birth control should be left up to parents and doctors.
I support the idea of children learning about sex and the distribution of condoms to school children but there should be an age limit, I say from 5th-6th grade kids should be learning about sex and from 7th-12th grade students should be also be learning about sex education and condoms should be available to kids who are in 7th-12th grades because kids in Junior High to High School are having sex the most!
Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)
Kyra, I think the operative word that's being overlooked in that story is that the 1st grader will have to 'ask' for condoms to be given them. Is a 5-6 year old is savy enough to ask... and still want them after they get "the talk"... then I believe they SHOULD be given them. Regarding sex education, I'm a strong believer in answering kids questions directly and in as much detail as they seem to absorb as soon as they start asking them. It takes the "mystery" and therefore much of the premature attraction out of it.
I am not totally surprised. Let us not blame the administrators, The boards of education are the ones that place the burden of implementing their policies on the shoulders of their administrators. This is carrying "Sex Education" a bit too far.
Far left activist need to go back to school themselves. Children have enough that they must absorb about the world in elementary school without throwing condom at them. This is ridiulous, lets just put the thought into their heads," condom's --sex" Education leaders in this country need to get back to actually teaching students how to read and write and add and subtract. Something a large percentage of young people can not do today because they are simply not being taught this in school. Test scores show this. Teachers have no business teaching children about sex or religion this is a parents job. Granted some parents don't do this, and this is the reason for this kind of action by a school system. The many students that do not have sex in elementary school are having to pay for the few that do. Beware parents this is becoming a growing trend for public education. It really is a volation of a parents rights to raise their children according to the way they believe.
Parents' silly squeamishness about condoms could kill their children. Presenting matter-of-fact information about contraception and safe sex to students at a very early age is part of responsible parenting and education. How can having protection available at school and home harm anyone? (Liz's seat belt analogy is accurate.) Further, keep a box of condoms in your bathroom cabinet for your family's use (just as you would other toiletries) and get over yourselves!
Kyra, My concerns are not only for the children and all they are exposed to at younger and younger ages, not that parents are not parenting effectively or that schools and education are not supported with enough money through our government but that these mandates are taking time and money from our schools. Could we please pay our teachers enough to make all the college worth it? Could we have schools that are not falling apart? Could we please have parents have children and understand the time and energy that raising them takes? We educators just want to teach and have children succeed because they recieved the best education we could give them. Condoms given out in schools is stepping over the line – will schools then be liabel for the children that are concieved? Can we afford this?
How ridiculus. My son is 11, and he hasn't started puberty.
Remember, for there to be intercourse, there MUST be an erection, and if puberty hasn't started yet, it's 99.9% sure there will be NO erection, so I think it is a ridiculus idea.
At first I was shocked and disgusted, but now I'm seeing the superintendent's point. If parents are terrified of the school giving away free condoms then they need to be the first ones to step in and talk to their kids about the birds-an-the-bees.
First graders are not the ones the condoms are for. People jumping to that conclusion are just fearmongering. The condoms are for the older kids who are entering puberty.
Some sixth graders have sex, no matter how much we adults would like to pretend they don't!
I am an absolute prude, it's not like I was one of them. But I very clearly remember overhearing other sixth graders in the lunch line one day saying they were going to go have sex after school.
It shocked me, we were all so young! Certain kids like that won't be discouraged by adults blustering about, they'll find a way to do what they're "not supposed to." We adults don't have to like it or advocate it, but we do have to help teach them to at least be responsible and healthy and use protection.
It's good that an anonymous resource is available to them.
Kyra, I am a licensed psychologist in Arlington, Texas (#21860). I have provided psychological services for more than 15 years and my specialty for approximately 12 of those years has been the treatment of children who are victims of abuse and neglect.
I view the distribution of condoms to children is sexual exposure, i.e. sexual abuse. To summarize, the following viewpoints are offered:
1. Pre-pubescent children are psychologically incapable of understanding the emotional basis of sexual intercourse because they have not yet experienced a sexual urge.
2. Their knowledge of sex as a form of sharing love between couples minimizes, or eliminates, their developmental perception that love is a function of endearment.
3. As a result of curiosity and interpersonal rapport, all of the children will most likely be exposed to the reason for condoms and, thus, sexualt intercourse. Parental permission will not protect children.
4. Childen model adult behavior. There is an increased probability that they will try to simulate adult sexual intercourse. My space is limited. My frustration is that people are not aware of repercussions
Kyra, This is outrageous. I know kids at 6 aren't thinking about sex unless it's being shoved down their throats. I have 4 kids, 9 Grandkids, one who is 15. I talked with him at the age of 13 and even then, he was not interested in doing anything, in his words " I'm not going to do anything stupid, I'm going to college." He's handsome and has no problem getting girls. But he has a head on his shoulders. My own kids grew up in the 80's-90's and not one of them were pregnant before they married. I see nothing wrong with the preteens getting sex education and the teens having a safe place to access help for their issues and needs but 1st graders (of which I have 3 grandsons in the 1st grade) do not need this type of education. Thanks for listening.
A Mimi in Maine
I feel the overriding question isn't necessarily about sex or condoms. It's about whether a step like this is necessary for the health and protection of the children. I think if people see it AS necessary in the climate we find ourselves in today, then it wouldn't be as much of a concern. I feel for the older grade school children, it sadly is a concern where education and prevention is the best way to head off other things. But for the younger ones, wow.... can't say as I feel it's an issue for them and I'm sad that it will be.
As others have said, it's not like condoms are being handed out as party favors. The children have to request them and there will be a discussion when they go to get them. How many children do YOU know who will be comfortable with that situation.
There is one other issue this may help to even the smallest degree... something people probably wouldn't want to think about. It's possible this could protect children in another way. Statistics show that sexual child abuse often comes from someone they know and trust. In the world of 'what if', what if a child faced with that situation then was able to at least protect themselves from unwanted pregnancy or STD's because this program exists? What if somewhere in the mix of the child going to another adult for help, the situation comes to light and the child can then be saved from further abuse? It's not a fun line of thinking but it happens more than is socially admitted.
At 15 years old I had to take my 13 year old sister to have an abortion, and as we are waiting for this traumatic experience to happen a 9 year old little girl walks in with her mother and she to, is there for an abortion. That’s right a 9 year old little girl and my 13 year old sister having an abortion. This day affected my sister for a very long time, she hated my mother for longer than I can really remember. So my point to all this is now I am 24 with 2 little girls and another little girl on the way I never want to have to watch any of my girls go thru an experience like that and I’m surly going to be discussing the birds and the bees with them but if they decide to do something that I don’t agree with I would feel so much better if they were able to get condoms from school then use no protection at all. I would much rather tell my daughter not to have sex ever but if you do please use a condom. I can’t imagine looking at my children and telling them not to ask for condoms!!!
America needs to promote more home schooling to keep our kids away from schools trying to pass on bad and unmoral teachings .
Interesting, I wonder those who think that public schools and the government should provide condoms and sex education to a child regardless of age have children themselves. It's not the condom that makes one squeamish, silly, or otherwise, it's the governments intrusion on the citizens thought process and rights that is the problem. The condom issue is an illustration of that intrusion. For those who want others to do the thinking for them, this is a perfect solution.
It's the schools doing damage to our kids not the parents .
Michael, I have 2 kids, and I couldn't disagree with you more. Even though our schools are doing a great job of leading our children down the wrong path (passing out condoms to 6-7 yr old boys), parents are doing a great job at it as well, PARTICULARLY young FATHERS.
Their mentality is I can get a young girl pregnant then dump her. SO, in a lot of cases there is NO father.
This is great! It's about time kids get some real sex education. Abstinence only education is a joke.
I think that the school should give kids condoms because if kids want to have sex there going to have sex without there parents even knowing so it is better to have them be protected then be at risk.
might as well make condoms available to students............
they make them available to prisoners...at least here in Canada.
Do they make these for people that age? I think this is going a little too far, especially w/o parental consent.
This is an EXCELLENT idea! Coming from an area that teaches abstinence only (central NC) it's awesome to see other school districts taking steps in the right direction. In this society it is depressing to see things like sex seen as such a faux pas to talk about. It makes kids and teens that much more curious about sex and they are embarrassed to ever ask for or go buy condoms. It's no surprise to me that when I graduated high school in '06 no less than 10 people who walked were pregnant and at least that many didn't even make it to graduation due to pregnancy.
If my child went to that school, I would move. But seriously this is just an excuse for kids to use to have sex even when their parents say NO SEX.
Provincetown is not handing out condoms. If a student asks for a condom, they will have to see a counselor who will counsel them before giving them a condom. If you think your children in junior high (or earlier) are not having sex, not experimenting with sex, then you are living with blinders on. Wake up. Your news program is just adding fuel to a fire that is really not burning when you do not tell all of the news, only the inflationary aspect.
I think that elementary school kids receiving condoms promotes sexual activity, because then they will have access to safe sex and probably be curious about it. It is absolutely discusting and the parents should have the right to decide what age is the right age to talk to their child about sex not a school. This will ultimately teach a child that it is ok at any age to have sex and that is the wrong image they should be focusing on.
First of all, saying that they are giving condoms to 1st graders is inciteful. They are offering condoms to all students, up through high school. Definitely necessary to prevent STDs, much less pregnancy. Second, many people live sheltered lives and haven't seen pregnant fourth or fifth graders. It's disturbing, but it happens. Those children may not even know how it happened. I miss the days when there was real sex education, as opposed to merely preaching abstinence. Knowledge is power, and so is prevention.
There are condoms that fit elementary school boys????
Handing out the wrong size condom only encourages irresponsibility. The policymakers should lose their jobs.
Will these condoms be smaller in size? Upon condom request, will there be a requirement to attend an informational /sex education class?
Do they make condoms that small? Do they come in fun colors, too? Maybe strawberry flavored? This gives me the creeps!!
What reason did they implement this program? STD's? Teenage pregnancy? If you have spent time in these cities, the answer would be clear. Report on the statistics, the facts!
@ Dan I respect your thoughts thats one great thing about our country I hope stays the same the freedom of speech .
People would not believe how important this decision is to distribute condoms. Before I became a parent, my ex's grandson (then 6 years old) was caught trying to have sex with another student. 6 years old!!! Even when I was in school (in Chicago, early 60's, in 4th & 5th grade), we had Sex Ed. Well, it was a good thing we did, there was an older girl in our class who was having sex with a high schooler. We didn't have condoms then...
Parents should never say what a child won't do. They can't be with them 24/7. And they don't always know who has influenced their child. Hooray to the bold move!
Kate: It's not the condom that makes one squeamish, silly, or otherwise, it's the governments intrusion on the citizens thought process and rights that is the problem.
Schooling is inherently biased, since choices about what is included and excluded have to be made. That said, a basic education on sex is something that differentiates the modern era from the 1800s. Reproductive rights and knowledge about how that works has been crucially important improving the status of women in the western world, perhaps more than anything else. Age appropriate sex ed is part of that and it's something that is a societal good.
If you don't like it, home school. It's an option. Or vote with your feet and move to a place where sex ed isn't part of schooling or where schooling isn't available for some.
I think this is outrageous!!!. Kids in first grade are not even thinking about sex or even capable of having it. My God, they haven't even reached puberty yet! The fact that parents are not allowed to opt out is equally obscene. What country am I living in?
I do not agree with the way this is being represented. The key phrase here is "if they ask". The school is not "shoving sex down childrens throats" by having condoms and a conversation that some parents are not comfortable with available to kids that ASK for it. Despite what parents may want to believe, kids at very young ages are having sex, not all of them, of course, but it does happen. Of course it is important for parents to be involved in their childrens lives, and hopefully know whether or not they are having sex, but not every parent is involved and not every child is forthright with their parents. It has always fallen to the schools to pick up the slack, schools are where kids spend most of their day.
I feel that our government is taking away my rights as a parent and i resent the message that the schools are promoting is that sex in elementary schools is OK without a parents permission, this is outrageous... greg t in honolulu, hawaii.
You in the news media like to go to the absurd with your comments. I am a former 5th grade teacher and a note was intercepted from one student to another. The question was, "do you stand up or get on your knees to give head", do you think they need condoms and a talk to protect themselves?
I believe this is absolutely outrageous. Now we have scholls basically telling that it is ok for our kids to have sex, as long as they are careful, and there is nothing the parents can do about it. What happened to allowing the parent to be the parent? Parenting and teaching life lessons to our kids is not the schools job. They need to back off and let the parents raise the kids and just stick to why we send our kids to schoool, reading, writing and arithmetic. Its bad enough that we have schools graduating kids that still don't know how to read, write a decent essay, or even spell basic words correctly, but, they can teach them to be immoral. It makes me sick.
Sounds like this school's administators are crossing the line. Unfortunately, this is the direction that this country is heading with emphasis on rewarding bad behavior with the promise of a reality show, beauty pageants for young children. Where are our values?
I'm perfectly okay with this so long as the condoms aren't ribbed, textured or flavored, and they include something for the kids with latex allergies. In my experience at least some kids will begin having sex as soon as it's possible, and if they're smart enough to ask for condoms, they're likely responsible enough to use them.
I don't know about anyone else but I don't plan on having the "talk" with my kids until they're about 11 or 12 yrs old not 6, leave the parenting to the parents.
I see nothing wrong with the school distributing condoms to students. I personally see it as a helping hand. You see, most parents do not talk to their children about sex, and thus such information is acquired through other sources (sometimes inaccurate sources). Would parents, those who do not talk to their children about sex, want the schools to teach their children about sex and its consequences or would those parents want some friend, some person from the street to teach their children?
Teachers ans administrators are always lamenting the lack of parents involvement with school. So the superintendant decides to not allow parental involvment in the issuance of condoms!! What? She should be fired!!
I think 1st graders are too young to get them , but in 3rd grade and up they should be given out to every kid.Parents are not doing their job in this country educating their kids, that's why we have so many teen pregnancies.Give them to every kid from 13-18!
Children need to be insulated from the complexities of adult life while they are being raised. This is why birds raise their young in a nest, and why parents need to keep their children safe from outsiders who have an aggressive social agenda. Ask yourself why do we not hand out guns to children who want them? Or not let them donate organs? Or not let them engage in incest or marry farm animals? The missing background information here is that Provincetown, MA is the center of lesbian life in New England. Provincetown has become an "anything goes" community. Those who feel they have to tear down barriers to secure the right to engage in conduct that is outside the mainstream often seek to tear down all kinds of other unrelated barriers, even those rooted in common sense, such as widespread prohibitions on encouraging sexual activity among grammar school children.
I work in the Social Service field and there are children as young as 10 having babies. There are still parents who refuse to speak to their children about these matters and rely on the schools or peers to handle sex education. I applaud the school district for giving children a place to go to ask questions to get educated and professional responses. I wish all parents were open and understanding enough to approach their children and educate them however I would rather see a child be able to approach a professional adult then a peer who may give them bad advice. Abstinence is ALWAYS best however it's not a reality in our society. So why not educate and prevent STD's and pregnancy??
This is a perfect example of a governmental body (the school board) infringing on the rights of private citizens. If parents do not want their children to have condoms, their wishes should be respected. That school board's job is to EDUCATE the children of that community, not RAISE them. This a renegade school board that is more interested in promoting their own agenda rather than serving their community. That community should vote that entire school board out.
Every one who thinks they can predict when there little angel will have sex is blind.I would rather my kid be having safe sex than to come home with hiv.don't be stupid people.silence contributes to ignorance .
When I was a kid the parents would have to sign a paper to ok such acts to allow there kids to participate what ever happen to parental rights .
I think it is GREAT. Kids are having sex and not asking their parents for their permission to do so.
Someone or some organization needs to step in and help. If the school is giving condoms, so much the better. Churches and their dogma are doing nothing to stop teen pregnancies. STD rates are up. Something needs to be done, and this school is doing just that. They should be praised for their pro-active solution
Opt out? Oh, I'd opt out alright – straight out of that school. (Infact, we did opt out, and now homeschool.)
How dare a school enable at-risk behavior and exclude a parent from having the necessary information to deal with the situation and have the opportunity to counsel their child.
This school needs to go look up Chapter 272: Section 4. of the Statutory Rape Law: Inducing persons under eighteen to have sexual intercourse.
Sadly, parents are treated more and more as the enemy of the System. It's time we started fighting back for the right to raise our children the way common sense dictates that we should.
I think schools need to step back into their role and leave the parenting to parents. I'm not sure how the parents in this district are reacting but I for one will not allow anyone...no not even a school or government...that givng my child a condom is in his/her best interest. That is for me and me alone to decide.
@ James Hoyt It sounds like you would be ok with our schools to have a third period orgy class im glad my kids are raised and out of these misguided schools .
If you really "listen" to the story and the Superintendent of Schools (and not the way that Ms. Phillips interpreted it), the policy is that students can ask for a condom and receive one. The policy applies to elementary, middle, and high schools in the region. The policy does not state that condoms will be handed out to first graders. Ms. Phillips appeared to put the emphasis on first graders because they are part of the elementary school and it makes for more interesting news. However, from a practical standpoint, how likely is it that a first grader would know to ask about a condom? There is evidence that sexual activity occurs in elementary school children (e.g., 2005, Rose et al., Journal of Adolescent Health which found that among fifth grade respondents, 5% of girls and 17% of boys reported they had engaged in sexual intercourse). Which is preferable – actively helping to prevent disease and pregnancy or hoping that the parents do a good job of education? More importantly, while recognizing that CNN will be driven by ratings, there is no need for the sensationalization of stories such as this one.
If your gonna talk SAFE sex and hand out condems it would be best to do it in the fifth and sixth grade. I would be extremely angry if my first, second, or third grader came home with a condem in his hand. I dont think its right to even hand out condems at all. Its ok if they talk about about safe sex without them.
WOW...let's just skip the school part and have the doctors and nurses give them to the babies when they are born..."here you go little feller...I know you can't walk yet but we want you to have "safe sex"....ohh geeezzz what's next...by the way...isn't it highly illegal to give sexual paraphernalia to minors...let alone preteens?
That is it, our society has officially hit gone over the edge.
Trying to make condoms Ok for kids is not good anything below 18 years old is against the law we need to pass out prison time not condoms .
They ARE condoning sexual activity in these kids by handing out condoms to kids that young. I would even go as far as to say that they are promoting it! To promote "safe" sex is STILL promoting sex! They are putting ideas in their heads that otherwise wouldn't have been there, and not even making it necessary to notify their parents! This is one of the many reasons I homeschool my children! And I feel very sorry for any parent that feels obligated to send their kids to a school with such low moral fiber.
Parents are not allowed to opt out! Who works for who? It is time to sue the school board as a whole and as individuals by district. Who do these people think they are?
When I was a 1st grade boy the only protection I would have needed would be for those onesie PJs that zip up the front. This is insane.
My 1st grader can barely tie her shoes, what gives these schools the right to take over parenting when it comes to sex education and my child. I strongly agree in condoms in high school and even jr high but not elementary, let them be little!
If I found out that the school gave one of my son's a condem against my back or my wife's back I would file lawsuit on the school and the school district, thats redicilous giving condems to elementry students.
I think it should be optional. Parents should receive a form to send back to the school if they object to the school giving their child a condom. This would be a natural weeding out process. The parents who don't return the form are the same parents that are not too involved in their kid's lives. These kids are the ones most prone to having sex at a young age.
this is just a way to make kids think about sex and its really wrong to not let the parents do anything about it and have no choice in leting kids not have this talk
They are more than likely going to entertain sexual intercouse anyway, though, I don't agree with the position, I believe the kids shoud be kept safe.
This whole controversy is a bit of an exaggeration....the problem is that this is a tiny school with all ages mixed. I'm guessing this is why they just opened it to all ages – assuming that the kids who need them will come at the time they need them – and younger kids will completely ignore or be oblivious to it. If they choose an age at which they become available then it is like condoning sex *at* that age – should they say 13? 15? 16? If they choose an age then that becomes even more controversial and no-one will want to admit to that age being acceptable. It is better to leave it up to the kids – they will know when they are ready and need them. We all hope for our kids that this is later and not sooner – but if they *are* going to have sex (which let's face it, is a fact of life for teens throughout history – this is nothing new!) then it is certainly better for them to have access to protection. Everyone should just relax. After all, they are available to 6 year olds at the drug store as well...but no-one is complaining about that! Because it's a non-issue....the 6 years don't CARE.
In 2004 in Oregon 106 girls aged 10-14 got pregnant. Approximately half had abortions and half delivered babies, many with significant health problems from poor nutrition and premature deliveries. Use of condoms would have prevented the abortions and prrotected the lives and health of these young children. If elementary school student become comfortable playing with condoms, they will also become comfortable asking for them, requiring their use during sexual encounters and pregnancies and these long and short term problems would be minimized. I am a mother of three children and grandmother to two boys.
Kids today are a whole different animal than even when I was growing up in the early 90's. While elementary might be a little young, middle school is definitely the time to start educating. Middle school students have media pressure, peer pressure and seem to be 13 going on 23 in the current generation. I would rather have them feel comfortable to ask for condoms than be unprotected; STDs still exist in a very big way.
I firmly believe parents are naive if they think junior high students and even younger are not experimenting with sex in some form.
While I am all for junior high students being given condoms, I think a better approach to elementary students would be education. Educating the students of sex, safe sex practices, etc. And make condoms available if they want.
While it's possible there may be a number of children who would be learning about sex earlier than they would have otherwise - there is an even greater amount of kids who have curiosity at that age. Sex needs to be an openly discussed topic among parents and children.
I have provided my teenage daughter with condoms - not that I want her to be sexually active, but because whether I forbid her having sex or not, if she wants to have sex–she is going to. And I want to make sure she has the protection she needs and hope that she makes responsible decisions rooted by the example we have set as parents.
Are you KIDDING?
Since when are condom's being made to fit elementary school children.
For them a condom would fit about as good as a ziplock bag.
What is the matter with the school districts minds? I am astounded at how stupid they must be not to think about the fit?!!!!
And I am totally against it. The problems we have now in society is too much sex being advertized and flaunted to our children. We should teach the 10 comandments in school instead. Maybe then our children would have some moral code to live by..
My generation did not have these problems because our parents taught us that sex was something reserved for after marriage.. And is a very serious decision not to be played with.
Teach your children well...hope they make the right choices when you are not there...then, allow access to every protective, safety and emergency device they can get their hands on when they want or need them! Or...bury your head in the sand and pretend they will never need protection or help. We just do not know how early and often young kids are sexually active. It clearly IS happening to someone's kids.
I have two teenagers and would be very upset if the school gave out condoms in high school. Wake up America, children at that age are learning to cover the mouth and washing their hand when they cough. If this was a fifth grader, who was developing early maybe this topic would be necessary to discuss,but in first grade health and science should not be that advance. If there is a first grader who can use a condom for that purpose than the nurse should be calling the parents not giving condoms out. I'm all for advance science but I think that is a too advanced. Our society has a big responsiblity to teach and nature children. Let's start them off right with good values, respect for our bodies, and each other. This is an poor example of good judgement.
If kids that young need condoms then you are really messed up as parents and as usual your treating the symptom and not the disease.
Sexual education is not the role of the school system. Teaching tweens about the changes that their bodies will undergo during puberty is one thing, but giving them condoms and teaching them how to have sex is like giving bullets to an unstable person holding an unloaded gun.
Also, it is a parents responsibility to do what they think is best for their children. I would have to question if keeping a parent from opting thier child out is going too far. What do prepubescent children need with condoms they can not use?
Wow, what grade does Elementary school end for them there? 8th grade? I don't know any 4th or 5th graders that would need a condom. Sex education should start around 6th or 7th grade; that doesn't mean handing out condoms to anyone that asks for them. That means educating them about their changing bodies (hormones can be scarry). If my 5th grader or my kindergartener came home with a condom, they would find a very unhappy mom on the school doorstep first thing in the morning.
I am ashamed to be in this profession. I will homeschool my grandchildren.
I am so outraged by this school districts willingness to give condoms to children so young. I think it is a form of sexual exploitation and anyone invovled need to be charged with child abuse. If a child, this age, was given a condom in a daycare setting, children services would be called and the person handing out the condoms would be repremanded. Why sould it be any different in a school setting? The fact that they don't want parents involved makes it worse. There should be an open comunication between the schools and the parents. something this important and serious should not be kept secret. If we teach them at this age it is ok to be sexually active and not tell Mom or Dad what secrects will they keep when they get to High School. We want our children to be protected and secretly handing out condoms is not the way to do it.
the off chance 2 first graders have sex what is a condom going to protect them aginst?..........sexually transmitted disease or pregnancy at 6 years old. this is just another way for the school system to brain wash our kids.
they take away the right to pray in school,then hand them a condom,they blame the parents for the childs upbringing,but if a parent spank their child,they go to jail,as a parent your screwd,cause you have no rights to parent your on child.
Um yeah. Children will not fully understand sex, and the only people who should teach them about it age-appropriate wise is parents. Otherwise, kids should develop their reading and writing skills, mathematics, critical thinking, social skills and the sorts. Not sex. Even when they've hit puberty they should learn about body changes and how to maintain their hygiene and physical health. Middle/High school is when they should be taught about STD's, pregnancy and abstinence. But... school fails!
Elementary school children must understand the difference of "Good touch" versus "Bad touch", and what their physical anatomy is. No need for condoms period! Leave that to the married couples who don't wanna make babies yet!
I wonder if any of you are actually from Provincetown...if you actually know what goes on there. I grew up there and giving these kids the option to condoms is not a bad idea. You are forgetting the fact that they will also be recieving counseling. These kids grow up in a town where sexuality is thrown in their face constantly. It is also a town where some parents just arent around, they are working or just dont talk about sex with their children. The school is giving out an option a place to feel safe and comfortable to go and get advice, help and ask questions, if they can't do that at home. The superintendant is doing her job, and trying to make a safer enviroment. What would you do if your 13 year old came home pregnant because she thought it wa sokay to have sex, didn't have anyone to talk to, and didn't have access to condoms because she was scared or embarrased. You people judge these school, town and superintendent when the reality is KIDS HAVE SEX, and finally a school is putting their foot down to try and stop pregnancy and STD's. If you dont want your kids to go and use these condoms than sit down and talk to them about sex....Open your eyes people, times are changing, and the more naive you are about your kids and sex, the worse it will get. If your not from Provincetown you have no right to say anything, because you don't know what it's like and what goes on.
These children are already told that they cannot have sex as a child and they disobey or rebel. Why do you think they would listen to someone telling them to use a condom? These children have too much time on their hands. The schools should be revamped to keep them busy with after-school clubs and programs and tournaments. Keep them productive.
Look at it this way, at that age things such as fears can be instilled into a child that will last the rest of their lives. So maybe telling the kids about the negative parts that can come from having sex. Just let it happen and check the statistics when these kids make it out of school and see if it helped.
I haven't read all of the comments, only the first 20 or so. And to all who say that this is so great, you should read the recent US HHS report that states that there is only a "weak indication" that comprehensive sex ed (including distribution of condoms in schools) increased condom use and even less indication that it slowed sexual debut. Further, there was little statistical evidence that such programs do any good 3-6 months after implementation.
Let's use some common sense, folks. Statistics show it doesn't help. So either it makes no difference or it makes the problems of children having sex (or worse, having unprotected sex) worse. Why aggravate such a sensitive issue AND take even more rights away from parents if there is no positive result?
PS - I'm trying to find the HHS study link and will post as soon as I find it again to show I'm not just making this up.
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