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Provincetown District Schools Under Fire for Condoms to Kindergarteners

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by copythis

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In The News

Kudos to Beth Singer as Superintendent of the Provincetown, MA, school district whom has had to hold her ground, despite being under fire for a newly-passed condom policy currently being skewed by media reports and right-wing conservatives—including Democrat Governor Deval Patrick—as passing out condoms to kindergarteners.
Way to go FOX and Governor Patrick—one step forward, two steps back. All the media coverage has ignited controversy that is defeating the good the district’s student policy might allow--and resulting in headlines like FOX’s latest: “School board chair says Massachusetts town will reconsider allowing condoms for all kids”
While FOX News didn't ignite the controversy, the media outlet isn’t subduing it either—with reports that the Provincetown school policy is sparking protests all the way to California—not that California or its residents has any business in debating policies for the small school community of roughly 150 students. Massachusetts is a different state and all.
The Massachusetts town’s school committee has adopted a contraceptive policy that isn't all that outrageous, but the Governor's interplay is creating talk across the nation--the school district policy simply allows any student in the school system to obtain a condom, upon request, from the school’s nurse’s office. Amid the chaos that ensued after the policy had been announced, Provincetown school officials are now scrambling to clarify the district’s new condom policy.
Political pressure and FOX’s dramatic media coverage isn’t helping the policy or district--but most of all, Governor Patrick's oft-repeated statements via spokesperson is creating a nationwide drama.
School district Superintendent Beth Singer says that, despite wording of the school’s condom policy, school officials would be selective in deciding who got condoms.
So now that the news and Governor have gotten involved, the surrounding drama will certainly make it more appealing for students to feel comfortable in requesting the contraceptives--if needed.
If a young child asked for a contraceptive, the school superintendent says, “We’d have a conversation with the student that was age appropriate and not just hand over a condom,” said Singer. As a resort town on the tip of Cape Cod, Provincetown has just two schools with only about 150 school students in total from grades kindergarten through high school.
Governor Patrick, a Democrat, reportedly phoned the Provincetown Superintendent (Singer)—who then said that she would most likely rethink the district’s condom policy. Patrick’s spokesman said in a statement that most school districts that distribute condoms do so only in high schools—translation: Governor Patrick is putting pressure on a demand that the condoms not be distributed before high school ages.
Good thing kids don’t have sex before high school.
“It is simply not age appropriate to have a [condom] program in place for such young children,” Governor Deval Patrick’s spokesman, Juan Martinez, told papers. Governor Patrick’s office now says that Superintendent Beth Singer, who authored the contraceptive policy that was approved by the Cape Cod community's School Board two weeks ago on June 10, is "going to try to walk this back a bit."
Would that be “walk back” or “bullied back”, Governor Patrick?
"Obviously, this is a local issue, but I expressed my concern about the counseling and [condom contraceptive] access being age-appropriate, and, for young kids, that parents ought to be involved," “Democratic” Governor Patrick reportedly told the The Associated Press (aka 'I shouldn’t be butting in, but I’m going to anyway—and I’m going to cause as much of a national stir about it as possible')
Of course, since kids don’t need to request access to having sex, it’s always great to require them approval for access to protect them from acquiring STDs, getting pregnant, or gaining a life-threatening illness like AIDS.
Governor Deval Patrick is apparently a Democrat the country can be proud of—one who blocks access. It’s not like Patrick’s never been involved in scandal prior: his bullying, with the school district’s already-passed policy, may not work to Governor Patrick’s favor in the fall--when election time rolls around.
In the big surprise of all surprises: Governor Patrick’s running for election--seeking a second term this fall, in a political field including Republican candidate Charles Baker and independent Timothy Cahill—both appealing to fiscally conservative voters. He must think getting his name in the papers and media can only help—hopefully Patrick’s choice for involvement and choice to butt in will be taken into account with Massachusetts voters in the election that is only months in the future.
Only a year ago, Governor Deval Patrick was surrounded by controversy when The Boston Globe addressed that Patrick's administration was involved in what called a scandal of “depicting its officials as bowing to political pressure to award a $13 million computer software contract that was allegedly rigged” and that “critics [of Deval Patrick] seized on the impression that the Patrick administration, which awarded one of two Cognos ULC contracts cited in the indictment, failed to respond to a series of red flags indicating that DiMasi and others were exerting heavy influence.”
The Boston Globe noted that the Deval Patrick scandal was “one of the biggest to roil Beacon Hill in decades, [and] has the potential to create political problems for the governor as he pushes forward on ethics law changes and lays the groundwork for a reelection campaign.”
As Superintendent Beth Singer has so eloquently phrased providing students access to condoms: "The intent [of providing access to contraceptives] is to protect kids…we know that sexual experimentation is not limited to an age, so how does one put an age on it?"
C’mon FOX: we all know kindergarteners aren’t going to be strolling to the nurse’s office, to request a condom.
School Superintendent Singer says a revised policy would probably include more specifics about how to handle a condom request from an elementary school student — though the school official added that she was not anticipating any such requests. Another contentious piece of the school district’s plan, to provide condoms to Provincetown students even if their parents object, may not change, the Superintendent said.
Withholding birth control from a student who is sexually active “really is not helpful,” Dr. Beth Singer said.
Town Manager Sharon Lynn issued statement that she would prefer a system requiring parental consent until children reach a certain age. Apparently that “certain age” wasn’t specified by Lynn—though that’s not too surprising, considering that age of sexual activity can drastically differ with children. Gee, maybe that’s the reason the school district didn’t set a minimum age for the condom policy to begin with.
"I think the parents should be responsible for (their children),” said Lynn, “and know what their children are doing," Lynn insightfully told the Globe.
No kidding—and if parents knew what their kids were doing or participating in with sex, then kids wouldn’t need to be requesting a contraceptive from the school district at all—any contraceptives would be provided through parents from the get-go, right? We all know that kids, of course, share their sexual activity levels with parents.
Kris Mineau, president of the conservative Massachusetts Family Institute, called the Provincetown school district’s recently-passed condom policy “absurd”.
How shocking—that a pro-life organization would be dismayed by the presence of contraceptives.
Perhaps Ms. Mineau should also consider how “absurd” the concept of passing around sexually transmitted diseases or the possibility of contracting HIV-AIDS might be to a child.


Provincetown, MA
United States
42° 3' 30.3696" N, 70° 10' 43.0932" W
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