Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Teen Prom Decision Challenged by Uninformed!

Told ya'!
I like to believe I am an average (slightly neurotic), informed citizen in these United States.  I read the news, I watch CNN, and I talk to other informed friends about world happenings.  I thus, understand a few things as more true than others, 1) The North seems slightly less conservative than the South on many issues, 2) there is a current insurgence in media coverage of reproductive rights, and 3) I could never be a news anchor and not crack up constantly.  Seriously, anyone out there who knows me, do you see me on the news...without giggling?  “Tonight on News at 7, Federal Agents Raid Gun Shop, Find Weapons”  (That, by the way, folks, is a true headline used in the news…found weapons…at a gun shop-well call me shocked!)

Anyway, with the following things above being mostly true, in my opinion (maybe minus the last one), it struck me when I passed an article the other day, in the Huffington Post, about a New York school that was changing its mind about handing out condoms at the prom.  You read that last part correctly-“changing their minds”, meaning prior to the “changing”, a school had decided TO provide condoms at the prom.  There was some vitriol responses from SOME parents and community members about the schools decision to provide condoms at the prom, with some stating it gave the teens “permission” to go and have sex after the prom. 
There are statistics that tell us in high school, around 46% of teens report having had sexual intercourse (at least once)-with more than 1/3 of all high school students reported being sexually active.   Nearly half (49%) of all high school 12th graders (READ:  PROM GOERS) reported being sexually active compared to (21%) of high school 9th graders.  So what does this data mean in relation to this report? 

More than streamers, folks!
Well, first it means that the school district had a good idea-because teens in high school are having sex, with or without protection.  Secondly, it means that those who were worried that giving condoms would give teens “permission to have sex” need not worry-teens aren’t waiting for anyone to give them permission.  Thirdly, it means that now, because of some misinformed people, teens who are going to be sexually active on prom night have to purchase their own condoms, get them from their local health center, or worse case scenario, have sex without protection. 
Folks, here in America, we have to stop and understand the statistics.  Teens are having sex.  And because teens are sexually active, if we don’t provide them with access to the correct protection, they run the risk of unplanned pregnancy, STDs or even HIV.  We have to stop worrying that teens are waiting on the “go ahead” from adults to have sex.  They aren’t-whether we like it or not.  And we have to understand that providing protection doesn’t mean that they are going to make the decision to have sex.  I applaud the original intention of the high school administrators who started this idea, and am astonished at the ignorance of the people who fought to get this option removed from the school prom. 
Americans, teens need more than streamers to have a safe prom night! 

No comments:

Post a Comment