Thursday, December 3, 2009

MPS to discuss providing condoms to students

Posted on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel today.

Milwaukee Public Schools' health officials want to make condoms freely available to students in many of the district's high schools, as part of an effort to combat the health risks that sexually transmitted infections and other communicable diseases pose to young people.

If the proposal wins the support of the School Board, the new policy could take effect as early as next school year, making MPS one of a few districts in the nation that provide contraception to students.

Kathleen Murphy, the district's health coordinator, said that data continues to show that middle and high school students are engaging in sex frequently and at younger ages, and that youth - especially those of color - are disproportionately affected when it comes to sexually transmitted infections.

"These are life-threatening illnesses for young people, and they're already reporting to us that they're having sex," said Murphy. "The question is, do we have the ability to help delay and deter the lifelong health consequences of the conduct that they're already doing?"

They're trying to mitigate the consequences of the wrong behavior. The consequences are "sexually transmitted infections and other communicable diseases". They are assuming that these consequences are due to the "bad behavior" of not using condoms. However, condoms don't prevent all STDs, and improper condom use does almost nothing at all.

The true "bad behavior" that result in these consequences is the promiscuity of these teenagers, which is considered acceptable and natrual by many of the people who are supposed to know better.

There is also one other fatal flaw in their plan.

Terry Falk, vice chairman of the committee, said the proposal is not about "handing out condoms like candy."

"What we're hoping for is that students who come in for these will walk away with a larger discussion about their sexual activity and, in some cases, we may find out where there are problems in their lives over and above the use of condoms," Falk said.

"We're hoping that the end result will be less sexual activity rather than more if this is done right."

Know that they will be in for a "talk" with school counselors when they go to get their condoms will likely deter them from showing up in the first place. The real end result will be business as usual.

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