Archive for Thursday, October 18, 2007

Middle school to offer birth control

October 18, 2007


— Pupils at a city middle school will be able to get birth control pills and patches at their student health center after the local school board approved the proposal Wednesday evening.

The plan, offered by city health officials, makes King Middle School the first middle school in Maine to make a full range of contraception available to students in grades six through eight, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services.

There are no national figures on how many middle schools, where most students range in age from 11 to 13, provide such services.

"It's very rare that middle schools do this," said Divya Mohan, a spokeswoman for the National Assembly on School-Based Health Care.

The Portland School Committee voted 5-2 for the measure.

Opponents cited religious and health objections.

Diane Miller said she felt the plan was against religion and against God. Another opponent, Peter Allen, said he felt it violated the rights of parents and puts students at risk of cancer because of hormones in the pill.

A supporter, Richard Verrier, said it's not enough to depend on parents to protect their children because there may be students who can't discuss things with their parents.

Condoms have been available since 2002 to King students who have parental permission to be treated at its student health center.

Students treated at the centers must first get written parental permission, but under state law such treatment is confidential, and students decide for themselves whether to tell their parents about the services they receive.


Ragingbear 10 years, 8 months ago

When I was in school. There were 21 7th graders, 18 6th graders, and 9 5th graders who were pregnant. Studies indicate that kids are having sex as early as 3rd and 4th grade. Unmonitored Internet access pretty much takes all of the mystery away from it, so it's not like they have to "figure it out" like we did growing up.

erod0723 10 years, 8 months ago

Diane Miller said she felt the plan was against religion and against God. Another opponent, Peter Allen, said he felt it violated the rights of parents and puts students at risk of cancer because of hormones in the pill.

Does the bible actually say anything about contraceptives? Also, the birth control pill has been one of the most widely studied drugs in history. Its efficacy and safety have been demonstrated through hundreds of studies and clinical trials.

Haiku_Cuckoo 10 years, 8 months ago

Does the bible actually say anything about contraceptives? Also, the birth control pill has been one of the most widely studied drugs in history. Its efficacy and safety have been demonstrated through hundreds of studies and clinical trials.

Bible doesn't say anything, but she may be Catholic because their doctrine opposes birth control. The pill may be safe, but I don't like the idea of handing it out to 12 year old girls.

Bubbles 10 years, 8 months ago

Now teachers can proceed without fear of embarrassing consequences..

daddax98 10 years, 8 months ago

I would say that I am pro choice

waydownsouth 10 years, 8 months ago

The only problem i see with this is the students 11 through 13 not informing parents about treatment. That is still your child and their health is your business. The parents should be fully informed if something medically should go wrong the parents won't have a shock. I don't like it but i see the need in this day in age.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 10 years, 8 months ago

If the families/communities have failed at a level which requires the dissemination of contraceptives to Middle Schoolers, then they-and the kids-will fail at this level, too.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 10 years, 8 months ago

Agnostick says: "RU-486"

... not me... "Are you for eighty-six?"

eighty-six or 86 (Ä'tÄ-sÄ-ks') tr.v. eighty-sixed or 86ed, eighty-sixing or 86ing, eighty-sixes or 86*es Slang ... 1. To throw out; eject. 2. To throw away; discard.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 10 years, 8 months ago

Geez, Ag, the thought of eleven-to-thirteen-year-old girls on birth control seems to have really set you off.


tangential_reasoners_anonymous 10 years, 8 months ago

"11-13 year old girls still have cooties."

Ah, cooties... I really miss the "cootie" girls....

BrianR 10 years, 8 months ago

This policy arose of the reality that these kids are sexually active. People whine about babies having babies then whine about birth control; abstinence doesn't work and will never work. You can't have it both ways.

workin2hard 10 years, 8 months ago

This is stupid. Most woman don't take their birth control correctly and get pregnant and wonder why. Now without parents knowledge they are supposed to take these on their own? Are you kidding me? These are just children who need their parents to get them up for school. How are they going to take the pill the same time every day without missing a dose. Yeah right watch the abortion rate go up there. And whose fault will that be?

Confrontation 10 years, 8 months ago

I agree, ThatGirl. Workin2hard has no clue. A whole lot of the women who get pregnant while on birth control were trying to get pregnant, but they use the pill's failure rate as an excuse. I've seen it multiple times. Also, girls are reaching puberty at much younger ages, so this school's decision makes sense. Either prevent the pregnancy now (because even the conservative's child is doing the deed), or pay for school-funded daycare later on. Parents aren't talking to their kids, so someone has to step up and prevent another unnecessary pregnancy and an unwanted (yes, unwanted!) child.

not_dolph 10 years, 8 months ago

Ragingbear - what school did you go to? I know you can't answer that, but I have a hard time believing your figures.

workin2hard 10 years, 8 months ago

Women who use birth control may think they don't need to worry about failure of their contraceptive. But consider this, fifty-three percent of unplanned pregnancies occur in women who are using birth control. When considering a certain type of birth control most women often base their birth control choice on published success/ failure rates. However, these rates are based on "perfect use" - that means the birth control is used exactly as it should be during every act of sexual intercourse

With perfect use, the birth control pill can be as much as 99% effective. However, perfect use means remembering to take the Pill everyday at the same time and to be in good health, under the age of 35 and a nonsmoker. With typical use, the average failure rate is between 3 and 13% per year, depending on the type of pill you are taking.

Certain factors can decrease the efficiency of the contraceptive pill, though. These factors include:

Taking antibiotics Taking certain medications, include oral vaginal infection medication, certain anti-seizure drugs and certain HIV drugs Having diarrhea or vomiting Taking St. John's Wort

So all those perfect women that you people know that got pregnant while on the pill were all part of that 1%. WOW the entire 1% lives around you people. Wonder if there is a statistic on that.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 10 years, 8 months ago

"Anyone that is going to allow their kid to swallow any type of pill without their knowledge is nuts!"

Many of us are finding this a hard pill to swallow.

workin2hard 10 years, 8 months ago

Teenagers, women who are overweight as well as women who have hard capsules rather than soft ones are more likely to have Norplant fail for them. Norplant is no longer available in many countries, including the United States, due to the severity of side effects experienced by some women.

Thats not going to work as well.

Magpie 10 years, 8 months ago

I'm all for preventing unwanted pregnancies, but the idea of some school nurse schmoe slapping a b.c. patch on a 6th grader really disturbs me. Hormone treatments can have serious side effects, and they can really affect a girl's mood! Furthermore, hormone treatments do not protect against STD's, but they can create an illusion of safe sex. Whoever is administering these drugs better be sure to supplement them with education.

I have so many questions about this: Does readily available birth control normalizes teen (or pre teen) sexual activity? Will these kids will feel that sex is compulsory before they are physically and emotionally ready for that kind of intimacy and responsibilty? Will more adults and older teens see them as fair game for conquest? AND: Why can't middle schoolers just chill out and wait until they've outgrown their training bras and Ninga Turtle undies before doing the deed?

Who is paying for this? Birth control isn't cheap.

farmersdaughter 10 years, 8 months ago

birth controls are a prescription....who is writing the prescription for these girls and who would ethically give them to an 11 - 13 year old girl with out the parent's permission?

farmersdaughter 10 years, 8 months ago

If that ever happens in my district we'll be home schooling too.....Right on DotsLines!

Sigmund 10 years, 8 months ago

I don't think all 11 year old girls should be give Flintstones(TM) Fruit Flavored Birth Control pills. Only the really HOT ones!

Haiku_Cuckoo 10 years, 8 months ago

Haiku is the perfect example of why the neocons are failing so miserable today, they ignore any and all facts for whatever they feel like and could care less the real life results.

Why? Because I think it's crazy to hand out the pill to 11 year old girls? If they're going to do it that, they may as well make them available in Barbie Pez dispensers since that seems to be age appropriate. I prefer the method of having open dialogue between a parent and child. Also, I'm a registered Democrat.

BrianR 10 years, 8 months ago

"You are a mechanic, using mechanical means to try and solve what is primarily a morality problem."

A very mechanical statement. You just did exactly what you accused the accused of doing.

As I wrote elsewhere, biology trumps dogma every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

jonas 10 years, 8 months ago

"All these things you suggest have been going on for years now, with little to no real effect for the positive."

75X55: Can you definitively say that this is a greater problem today than at other points in the past? Do we have actual stats on unplanned pregnancy available before the most recent few decades? Would you consider the idea that it's equally possible that its simply more in the open now, as opposed to a sign of the degradation of our national morality?

BrianR 10 years, 8 months ago

No you invoked one of the most intangible things on the face of the earth, morality. That seems to have become the universal cop out.

"Your last sentence suggests that you are having difficulty overcoming that 'biology dogma' yourself."

That explains a lot about your lack of understanding.

adriennerm 10 years, 8 months ago

Make condoms available, but not pills. Not all birthcontrol pills work for everyone. I had a serious reaction when I began taking Yasmin. Then I changed to Ortho Tricyclen and everything is fine. I would hate for an eleven year old to go through what I did on Yasmin

adriennerm 10 years, 8 months ago

let me clear up my statement. There is nothing wrong with Yasmin. My body didn't like something in Yasmin.

I would hate for an eleven to have a reaction to pills and the parents have to clue what's going on with the child

jonas 10 years, 8 months ago

75X55: In the problem of time, as I'm leaving, I'll shorten my response to simply and freely admitting that I just don't know.

Richard Heckler 10 years, 8 months ago

Now that we the females under control what about the guys?

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 10 years, 8 months ago

"Biology trumps dogma every day so any answers that recommend fear, punishment, morality, church, etc. are disqualified."

(Why is it that morality so consistently is tied to religious dogma in so many people's minds?)

Fundamentally, morality springs from the same nervous system which produces the orgasm. Pleasure and pain. (No loss no gain.)

It is human vulnerability which gives rise to morality-the experience of pain (in the broadest sense of the term), the generalization of this experience to others, and the recognition that one's actions can create consequences for others, both immediate and long-term. Beyond this, there is the emergence and development of empathy, crucial in those situations where experience cannot directly be shared (e.g., those involving gender-specific vulnerabilities and consequences.)

If we have produced an environment which, through earlier and broader exposure, places young people at risk for highly consequential behavior, then it falls upon us to temper (e.g.) a potentially unbridled hedonism with equal-even exceptional-attention to issues of morality. The nerve pathways serving sexual drive and satisfaction are immediate and salient; those which govern self-restraint (as opposed to dogmatic control) require greater attention and cultivation, in short, greater intervention on the parts of more mature individuals (parents, teachers) who ought to know better.

"t-r-a, You're thinking way too high on the hierarchy of needs but mostly, you haven't written anything worthy of a response."

With respect to a hierarchy of needs, can one think too high? (Hopefully, what I've offered above is worthy of consideration, if not a response.)

... oops! wrong, but relevant, forum.

BrianR 10 years, 8 months ago

"Why is it that morality so consistently is tied to religious dogma in so many people's minds?"

That has been my question for a long time.

I'm sorry, after reading your thoughts on this, you are too low on the learning curve and I don't have time to go through all this. g'day.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 10 years, 8 months ago

"I'm sorry, after reading your thoughts on this, you are too low on the learning curve and I don't have time to go through all this. g'day."

I trust that you'll find time during your busy day to replenish the condom and birth control pill dispensers...?

Oh, and now that I see you all the way up there at the top of the learning curve, beware... just a few steps ahead... that downslope is a doozy!

bluecollar2 10 years, 8 months ago

Wow, I'm surprised that we are faced with such a discussion format. Who is the nut case that came up with this idea? They must hate women. Something from childhood, I recon.

Correct me if wrong, please, oh please! Aren't women supposed to discontinue use of the pill after like 7 years? At least a 1 year break? Highly recommended not to go back on them after that break? Doesn't the risk of cervical and breast cancers increase after so many years of use? Heck, maybe when they're at that really awkward-teenage-cantquitthinkinaboutguys-stage, it will be time for them to take their "break" from the pill. Cool, then we will still have babies raising babies.
Hey, I got an idea...Let's just add Depo-Provera to the immunization requirements for girls entering pre-school. Man, why didn't I think of this years ago? The school nurse can just continue shooting up our baby girls every three months, as required. Let's introduce estrogen and progesterone to their little veins. Let's get them on a roller coaster ride, A.S.A.P.!!!! Wasn't it the schools' across our Nation the ones that started preaching to the students that a swat across the butt was child abuse? Then the wild ones started charging their own parents with child abuse? Isn't this why our children are so out of hand? Kids in the street ignoring traffic, rude kids in the grocery stores. When I was growing up, my parents would have had me pick the switch if they found out I had walked through someones yard "just because"! There had better have been a reason, and a good one, at that!! Should I have not pulled my bicycle to the side of the road and stopped because a car was coming and they heard about it, ditto. Go get a switch. (I do not condone child abuse, but, correcting a child is necessary. Some children you glare at, and they will straighten up. The next group of kids you can warn your going to spank, and they straighten up. The other group of children you have tospank. Message gets through [Like I was!].)
So, yeah, lets give our baby girls birth control. Let them know they can fool around with any boy they want. Let's teach 'em early in life that they will get pregnant if they forget their pill, which they are so absent mind during puberty, that they will. LET US USE THEM AS LAB RATS. MAYBE THEY WILL GROW UP TO BE 7'5" TALL, AND HAVE BEARDS TO THEIR BELLY BUTTON. They would save money in the long run... no need to get a piercing!

Steve Jacob 10 years, 8 months ago

Are we so behind in middle america that east coast schools can do this, but Topeka High gives out condoms and all heck breaks loose?

bluecollar2 10 years, 8 months ago

Dots, good for you, and don't ever forget that you will say no.

I think we a citizens, should just start beating the parents when their child is out of hand. I don't mean when the kid has bags under their eyes from carpooling and being drug all over the country side, mall to mall. You can watch facial and body expressions to know when a child is worn out, even though they are running 5 directions at once. But when the parent has the nerve to sit there and let society raise the child for them. You can figure out most households in 5 minutes when you sit down to what you'll think is going to be a nice night out. Loud mom, has to brag about how wild the kids are and how hard she worked that day. Real activities of the day: kids wake before mom, kids fed themselves breakfast, kids turn on TV. Loud TV wakes mom, mom takes over TV, mom talks on phone and watches TV. Nothing on now at 1pm, goes to take shower, screams at kids on way because they want lunch. Blah, blah.

I hope this whole operation is shut down in Portland. I really am concerned for the health and welfare of these girls. As adults, women who have health insurance can't get the proper care they need with female issues. And these are women who weren't subjected to a coctail of hormones until they were in their 20's! How is this going to be in any way healthy for these children. We all know the majority of them wont have regular doctor visits.

As someone earlier asked, who will pay for this? It's started in one state, sure to sweep the nation in a matter of a few years. Kansas can't keep up with the un-insured or the under-insured as it stands.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.