Several weeks have passed since the School Board approved what I consider to be a teen sex clinic at Two Trees (a building on school grounds.) Unfortunately, the news article on the front page the next day was a brief summary of the decision. It did not include the many salient points raised at the meeting.
The room was about 70 percent full of parents, youth and concerned individuals asking questions why the clinic was being moved from the main clinic (about three blocks away) on Washington Boulevard. The remaining members were largely employees of the clinic, a few parents, students, and persons in favor of the move.
First, the representative from Humboldt explained the California law that enables a child (12 years or older) to get sexual services, including abortions, without parental consent. (Normally, medical personnel cannot treat a minor without parental consent.)
The main reason given by the employees for the move, was a lack of business, and the fact that youth were embarrassed at the possibility of being seen waiting in the main room and going into the teen clinic. Suggestions were made that a partition could be placed so the teens would have privacy, but these were rejected.
I learned, and parents and teachers should know, that children can go to the clinic during class time, and when they return to the school with an excuse from the clinic, the student will be marked present, even if the teacher marked him/her absent. A parent will also be lied to and told the child was in class. Since when are parents lied to? What happened to trust in the parent/school relationship?
As a recently retired teacher from the high school, I witnessed cases of emotional problems resulting from this permissive attitude of sexual activity, which parents then have to deal with, like the physical and emotional scars of sexually transmitted diseases, abortions, and birth control pills. As one girl said who was relieved to find she was not pregnant, “I thought I had to be sexually active when I reached high school. I don’t want this!”
Again, and again, I heard the employees of the clinic listing themselves as the capable adults students could talk to, ignoring the rational and legitimate concerns of parents. How many students, out of curiosity, will take a break from class (which will be excused) and go to the clinic ask for a “fun pack” These are novelty type condoms; who is paying for these? Since there is no parental consent form, a mature-appearing 10-year-old might walk over from a neighboring school, and be serviced with contraceptive medication, as well as an abortion referral. (Since one-third of the women who try “the pill” discontinue due to side-effects, what will this do to a child whose body is still growing?
I know of cases where parents have had to deal with daughters who were hemorrhaging due to abortions, suffered mental depression and side-effects, like life-long sexual medical diseases. They have had to also assume financial responsibility for these, even though they did not enable the causes.
Have we gone from sex education to promoting sexual promiscuity? What effect is this having on our children, families and society? Sex has become a pass-time, something people “do,” “have” or “hook up.” There is no talk of intimacy, let alone of commitment, or physical and emotional consequences.
Did the School Board members, with the exception of Jim Maready, hear the voices of those present, or do they too, consider themselves more important and capable than the parents? Dare I ask (when the state is bankrupt) who is paying the rent of $540 per month, when there is a brand new clinic three blocks away, and a partition for privacy could be used? Who will pay for the CAL/OSHA renovation of the building to medical standards?
Calie Martin is a Crescent City resident.