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Let's Talk About Sex

New London High School students have an alarmingly high rate of teen pregnancies and STDs so the school took a controversial step to deal with it.

I was watching the news the other night when a story caught my interest. runs a health clinic and on March 1, they will be able to offer condoms and prescription birth control to students. The story was accompanied by interviews with parents of students and the majority was in favor of the new service.

I am the mother of two teenage girls and over the years the has evolved into the necessity to use birth control and safe sex. I believe preaching abstinence is unrealistic, I have taught them that sex is part of a loving relationship and not something you should ever be coerced into. While I do not expect them to wait until marriage, I do expect them to wait until they are mature and in love. We have raised them to respect their body and expect others to do the same.

So how would I feel if they offered a similar service at ? I actually think all high schools should do it. Yes you can go to the or and buy condoms, but how many teens have access to a car to do so? 

They can go to Planned Parenthood to get free condoms and counseling, but have you ever passed a Planned Parenthood clinic? Most of the time they have pro-life protesters outside, I think this would scare off many teens from trying to enter.

School-based clinics have been offering birth control services in Windham and Hartford schools for eight years. Nurses in these clinics can educate students on safe sex and discuss whether the student is ready for that kind of relationship. As with the New London clinic, parents are given the opportunity to refuse their child services at the clinic.

According to the Center for Disease Control, teen pregnancy rates have been declining for the last few years, however, they are still up to nine times higher than in other developed nations. They also show that 46 percent of high school students have had sex; only 38 percent of them used a condom. Of the 19 million new STD infections last year, almost half of the diagnoses were in people aged 15 to 24 years old.

I find those statistics shocking. Have people forgotten to warn their kids about HIV and other STDs? They are treatable, but some are not curable so why not make sure our children are educated and protected?

Dr. Alfred C. Whitehead January 18, 2012 at 12:26 PM
good point!
Michelle Petroccio January 18, 2012 at 01:15 PM
Dr. Whitehead, I agree that educating your children at home about sex is a very important part to raising them, and the academic part of Health Education belongs to the school. The biggest problem here is that there are not enough parents involved in the lives and educations of their children because they are leaving it up to someone else. A productive family environment will only aid in our kids' future successes in school and beyond as they mature into adults. Being the parents of four, even with busy lifestyles, my husband and I somehow always manage to never lose sight of what the important things are, and are consistently part of all that our kids do, in and out of school. I'm not saying we are perfect parents, but I am saying involvement is the key!
Dr. Alfred C. Whitehead January 18, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Michelle... I could not have said it better... and I fully agree. Parenting doesn't mean perfection... but it does require parents to fulfill their basic duties... as a parent. I object to schools assuming the primary parental role... or worse yet... having it thrusted upon them. You sound like a great Mom... keep up the rewarding work as a good parent. You will be blessed in more ways than you can imagine!
Michelle Petroccio January 18, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Thank you Dr. Whitehead. Although I am sure I have made some mistakes along the way, and there may be more to come, my children come first. I am already seeing some of the rewards just by the choices they make and the friends they choose to surround themselves with. They are all very individual and different at thier own paces and with interests. So far, so good. I have also been blessed with a great husband who shares in all they do, and afforded the privilidge of giving our children a two parent home, which in today's society is not always the case.
Peppy Alderman January 19, 2012 at 04:33 PM
Wow this is a tough one...I was naive as a teenager. The only things I knew about were what I learned from my girlfriends! I do not know if I would have been better or worse if this option was available to me. Maybe it would have answered some questions, or maybe it would have made me even more curious and want to things that weren't in my head before...who knows. But I do believe that having the right information is a powerful thing and if kids can get that without feeling uncomfortable then it is a good thing. If kids want to have sex, they will find a way, so it's better to be safe than sorry..For parents, just inform your kids, be there to listen and have that open relationship so they feel comfortable talking to you!

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