Concerned parents are criticizing a northern California school board's decision to allow contraceptives to be prescribed and handed out to students at a local high school. The move by the Santa Rosa City School Board permits the dispensing of condoms and birth control pills at a health clinic on the campus of Elsie Allen High School.
Under the policy, any student age 12 or older from any school is free to access the so-called “morning-after pill” and other contraceptives without parental notification. The school board claims its policy is necessary to address high teen pregnancy rates in the Elsie Allen High School zip code area. However, parents like Lindann McPheeters are not buying that argument.
Although school district officials may claim they believe these measures will lower the teen pregnancy rates, McPheeters says, “I think they just want to have [a birth control-dispensing health clinic] available, and they also want to override parents.” And by putting it on campus, she adds, they do succeed in sidestepping parental consent, since “once the students go on to the clinic, at age 12 and above they become patients, and the parents will not be notified of anything that they're doing.”
And McPheeters feels those advocating for the school health clinic misled the parents and community members who oppose the contraceptive handouts. She says the health clinic personnel that put on the presentation and other proponents of the plan initially approached the concerned mothers and fathers making assurances that were later rescinded.
“Whey came to our parent group,” the concerned California parent says, “they told us and I have a copy of the PowerPoint information they told us they were only going to prescribe [birth control], not dispense. But by the time it got to the board for that agenda it was changed to prescribe and dispense.”
McPheeter fears the district officials' decision to allow condom and contraceptive distribution to students at Elsie Allen High will further tarnish the reputation of a school that already has issues with gang activity, low academic standards, and students with illegal alien status. California Eagle Forum is distributing petitions that call on the Santa Rosa City School Board to revoke its decision and add abstinence education to the curriculum.