The policy, unanimously approved by the Provincetown School Committee does not include an age limit — meaning children of any age ask for — and receive — free condoms.
The committee also directed school leaders not to honor requests from any parent who might object to their child receiving condoms. In other words mommy and daddy — you don’t have a right to prevent your 7-year-old from getting a contraceptive device.
The policy does stipulate that kids must consult with a nurse or trained counselor before getting their sexual protection – and that upset some of the committee members, according to the Provincetown Banner.
“I can see some kids opting out because of the conversation. I’m not against [the policy]. I’m just trying to put myself in that teenager’s spot,” said committee member Carrie Notaro.
“I don’t like that students can’t be discreet about this,” committee member Shannon Patrick told the newspaper. “They have to go and ask for it. I’d rather them not have the conservation [with counselors] and have the condom than not have the condom.”
School superintendent Beth Singer supported the instruction aspect of the rule – explaining that younger boys and girls might not be experienced in such adult matters.
“We’re talking about younger kids,” she told the newspaper. “They have questions they need answered on how to use them, when to use them.”
Reaction has been mixed on newspaper websites. One reader opposed to t he measure wrote, “A condom distribution policy at the elementary school? Twelve-year-old kids need condoms? When I was 12, I thought a peck on the lips was something.”
Another reader wrote, “Stupidity exists everywhere. Why not just give the kids free needles while we’re at it?”
However, a supporter of the measure praised committee members.
“If the kids really are sexually active that young these days, then they absolutely should have access to condoms. Sure, it’s demoralizing to think of 11 and 12-year-olds starting at that age, but if they are, they’re not going to stop.”