MPS Allows Condoms in Schools
MPS Allows Condoms in Schools
The Milwaukee School Board approved condoms being passed out to MPS High School students; their goal is to stop the rise of sexual transmitted infections and sexual transmitted diseases in teenage girls ages 15-19.
Seats quickly filled with all ages and races as voices flooded the auditorium. Neon Signs were thrusted through the air reading “Sex is a Sin” and “NO CONDOMS”. On the other side of things, there were signs waved in the air reading “Yes Condoms” as well.
As said by the Milwaukee Board of School Directors, promoting health is essential for children to grow up into active and engaged community members. It’s important that youth learn about all aspects of health such as nutrition, emotional wellness, human growth and development, and reproductive health.
“I feel that nurses should be allowed to distribute condoms to students, because that’s the best way for students to learn,” says Kenneth Caldwell, a UWM freshman and advocate of condom use.
“So the best way to go about this and combat it (STD’s) is to educate them and protect them. One of the best ways to do it is contraception, through condoms.”
Many of the concerns presented to the school board by citizens were:
• Condoms will encourage sexual activity
• School is not the appropriate place to hand out contraceptives
• Parents need to be notified
According to the Milwaukee Board of School Directors, the use of condoms combined with education, access to information, supplies, and meetings with healthcare professionals, will help prevent the contraction of STD’s and STI’s in teenage girls.
Bob Braun, President of Christian Civil Liberties Union, proudly waves his neon poster board around in the air, while humbly passing out “No Condom” signs to audience members.
“We go to the middle schools and most of the parents come and the police and they’ve ordered us for years to stay away from the middle schools, because they’re too young to give them abortion literature, and yet when you look at the facts, 38 percent of them are sexually active with diseases…they say give them a condom and the problem goes away, well I got news for them, there’s a lot of young girls at the abortion clinics,” says Braun.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 19 million new sexually transmitted infections happen each year, and half of those infections are in young adults ages 15-24.
Condoms Will Encourage Sexual Activity?
Teenage girls ages 15-19 had the most cases of Chlamydia and Gonorrhea than any other age group. 409,531 young Black women had the highest rates of the two STD’s in 2004. According to the Milwaukee Board of School Directors, young teens are more likely to participate in deviant behaviors related to alcohol, tobacco and sexual activity.
According to the 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, “nearly 63 percent of Milwaukee public high school students confirmed that they were sexually active, but almost one-third of those students also stated that they did not use condoms the last time they had sexual intercourse.”
Dick Rauter , an antsy audience member sat firmly in his seat, with his eyes fixed in the crowd. He says he’s upset with how recent situations have been handled by the government, and condoms will only make the situation worse, if passed out to children in high schools.
“This is just saying, here go ahead and do it. Well it’s a sin. With all this junk they put in videos, what do you expect?” says Rauter.
School is not the Appropriate Place to Hand out Contraceptives
Passing out contraceptives to MPS students is appropriate in regards to the human growth and development curriculum. According to the Milwaukee Board of School Directors, recent research studies show when schools make condoms available for students, they are more likely to use them, and were no more likely to be sexually active.
According to Center for Disease control, “4.5 percent of senior high schools make condoms available to students as a part of standard health services.”
“Schools are for reading, writing and arithmetic; lately that’s been changed to everything but that. Handing out condoms? It’s a shame that, that goes on in a public school,” says Braun.
The Milwaukee Board of School Directors claim, the approach is abstinence based. They will teach fifth grade students that male condoms lower the risk of contracting diseases, and seventh-eighth grade students will learn how to use a male condom.
Many citizens in attendance of the board meeting agreed that passing out condoms was beneficial to high school students.
“It won’t benefit me personally, because now I’m out of high school where I won’t be getting condoms from there, but it’ll let me know that younger siblings I have in MPS or family members there, will get the benefit of having sexual education,” says Caldwell.
Parents need to be Notified
It was voiced by many angry speakers opposing the proposal that parents consent is needed before giving students condoms.
Ms. Rose, a speaker opposing the distribution of condoms to high school students, says condoms have been out for decades, why is there such a demand for them now?
“Why is this being pushed so hard? Especially since the fact is the parents should be sent information first, to find out if they want this to be done. The parent should make that decision; a condom is not the solution nor answer to the problem. Those condoms are nothing but band aids,” says Rose.
According to the Milwaukee Board of School Directors, under Wisconsin federal law, parental consent is not needed for minors in regards to family planning services.
“Minors are nit required to disclose medical records relating to family planning. Therefore minors in Wisconsin can obtain family planning services, including condoms, without the consent of their parents,” says MBSD.
School Nurses in high schools will supply students with male condoms, guided by an MPS school nursing policy and procedure.