Supporting Parental Rights for Sexual and Relationship Education

Parental rights have suffered a severe blow once again.  The school board in Provincetown, Massachusettsrecently rescinded an ill-advised policy to distribute condoms to elementary school students. While the rescission is an excellent decision, the Board still plans to distribute condoms to older students without parental consent or even knowledge.

Dr. Tom Benton, President of the American College of Pediatricians (the College) has noted on numerous occasions that “the job of preparing adolescents for a healthful sexual future is the responsibility of their parents. The College recommends age appropriate sexuality and relationship education that promotes the knowledge and the skills needed to delay sexual involvement, with the goal of preparing for sex exclusively inside the context of marriage. This education begins with mothers and fathers – not schools.”

Providing condoms indiscriminately is not a healthful decision for children, even adolescents. Healthful sexual development and preparation for meaningful relationships requires much more than the provision of condoms.

Parents have the most influence on their children’s sexual decisions. Parents should talk to them about the benefits of waiting until marriage. Schools need to help parents, not hinder or undermine them. A useful brochure for all to read on this subject is “Parents Speak Up.” This brochure can be found in a PDF format on the website www.4parents.gov.