I've been painfully consistent on this point--schools have no business concerning themselves with the off-campus (or non-school-function) activities of students. Those activities are rightly the responsibility of parents. If some parents make choices that "the school" deems inappropriate, such is freedom.
This school district, though, is spitting in the face of freedom, saying in effect, We'll do whatever we want and the parents be damned:
Students in Provincetown — from elementary school to high school — will be able to get free condoms at school under a recently approved policy that takes effect this fall. The rule also requires school officials to keep student requests secret, and ignore parents’ objections.
Student sexual activity, as long as it's taking place outside of school, is not the school's concern. Besides, is it too much to ask that students go to the store and buy condoms?
Mike at EIA pretty much nails it:
Here’s what Michele Couture, chairwoman of the town’s Board of Selectmen, had to say about it:Don't want to do that? Then let the parents raise their children as they see fit. Ms. Couture and her ilk can raise their children as they see fit.“I don’t know, you don’t want to take away a parent’s right to decide what’s right for their child. But it’s unrealistic to think that a parent saying no to condoms means the child’s going to say no to sex. They’re still going to have sex; they’re just not going to have a condom.”
This doesn’t have to cause such a huge fight. If Ms. Couture is convinced of what the kids are going to do, and is so certain of it that she will overrule their parents’ decisions, then she and the district should be perfectly willing to take the next logical step.
Adopt the kids.
Update, 6/30/10: Oh, what a Solomonic and magnanimous backtrack. Not.
The superintendent of a Provincetown, Mass., school district is apologizing to parents for what she calls a misunderstanding over a condom availability policy.Again I ask: why does the school need to give out condoms at all? Are they not available in the local grocery/drug stores? It's freakin' Provincetown.
In an e-mailed letter sent out on Tuesday, Superintendent Beth Singer said that the district will clarify that elementary school-age students won't be able to get a condom if they request one from the school nurse.