Monday, October 29, 2007

When Kids Grow Up Too Fast: The Maine Story

What's up with that Maine middle school that wants to hand out contraceptives to girls as young as 11?
School officials voted last night to OK a plan to distribute contraceptives to children as young as 11 in Portland, Maine.

The Associated Press says the decision follows at least 17 pregnancies in the last four years among students at the city's three middle schools. Children who have parental permission to visit the health center at King Middle School will have confidential access to birth-control pills, condoms and other contraceptives, according to the wire service.

Sarah Thompson, the mother of an eight-grader and a member of the Portland School Committee, explains why she voted in favor of the proposal: "I know I've done my job as a parent. (But there) may be a time when she doesn't feel comfortable coming to me ... (and) not all these kids have a strong parental advocate at home."

About 13% of middle school students in Maine say they're sexually active, according to a survey cited by the Portland Press Herald.
A number of concerned parents are already organizing an effort to recall the seven board members who voted to authorize the controversial policy.

One very important aspect of this story that no one seems willing to address is the sad truth that 17 of Portland's middle school students have gotten pregnant in the first place.

Clearly, there are some parents who aren't parenting.

And when schools try to take on the role of parents this is what happens...