‘Oh My God… They Are Kids’: Chicago Elementary Schools Upset Parents

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Parents were sickened when they discovered that Chicago schools will be handing out controversial items to children as young as 10 as part of the district’s sex education program.

Chicago Public Schools
Parents are outraged after Chicago Public Schools announced its latest sex education policy. (Photo Credit: Pedro Lastra via Unsplash)

According to the Chicago-Sun Times, Chicago Public Schools announced a policy that requires schools to distribute condoms to students as young as 10 years old. The initiative is part of a contraceptive availability program in the district’s expanded sexual health education curriculum, which will provide schools teaching fifth grade and up hundreds of prophylactics.

If rampant gun violence and sky-high taxes weren’t enough to keep families from choosing Chicago as their home, parents might be rethinking raising their children in the Windy City after the public school system’s latest move.

Chicago Public Schools
Over 600 schools will hand out condoms to children as young as 10. (Photo Credit: Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition via Unsplash)

Over 600 Chicago Public Schools will receive and distribute condoms to children fifth grade and up, which typically begins at age 10. Schools will receive a set number of prophylactics to begin and must request additional condoms once the supply is depleted. Elementary schools will start with 250 condoms while high schools will get 1,000.

Understandably, parents were outraged when they discovered that their young children would be given condoms at school. Their concerns proved once again that parents know better than government educators about what’s best for their own children.

“My question is, ‘Oh my God, how is it that CPS wants to give condoms to kids?’” Maria Serrano, a parent who advocate working with Healing to Action, asked in Spanish. “They are 10 years old, 11, 12. They are kids. So why is CPS thinking about providing condoms? Why not provide them information, and at the end give them the resource of a condom when they are prepared to use those resources they want to provide. For me, this isn’t the best option. They are doing things backwards.”

Health officials working with the schools claim that giving children condoms doesn’t encourage them to use them. (Photo Credit: CDC via Unsplash)

CPS Chief Health Officer Kenneth Fox lauded the decision, arguing for the bodily autonomy of 10, 11, and 12-year-olds. Disturbingly, he suggested that minor children “have the right” to make decisions regarding their health, despite the fact that they cannot even attend a doctor’s appointment without a parent or legal guardian.

“Young people have the right to accurate and clear information to make healthy decisions,” said Fox, a pediatrician of 30 years. “And they need access to resources to protect their health and the health of others as they act on those decisions.”

Fox argued that contraceptives should be more easily accessible to children in order to prevent “unintended pregnancies” and disease. However, he fails to address the reasons why minor children are engaging in sexual activity younger than ever. He also provides no solution for the root of the problem.

“Essentially what we want to do is make condoms available to students for if and when they think they need them,” he said. “When you don’t have those protections and don’t make those resources available then bad stuff happens to young people. You have elevated risks of sexually transmitted infections, of unintended pregnancies, and that’s very preventable stuff.”

The move is part of a contraceptive availability program. (Photo Credit: Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition via Unsplash)

Disturbingly, Fox justified giving 10-year-olds condoms by claiming the decision was “based on the developmental understanding of children.” He doesn’t believe it will have any adverse effects.

Likewise, Scout Bratt, an outreach and education director at the Chicago Women’s Health Center, insists that giving children condoms doesn’t encourage them to use them. Of course, this logic fails when applied to drugs, alcohol, or any other indulgence in the hands of underdeveloped children.

“We want students to come to us and to have access to those condoms for free as opposed to potentially having to find them elsewhere or choose not to use condoms. … It is about recognizing that school is investing in young people’s health.”

The part of the brain that regulates impulse control and predicts long-term consequences isn’t developed until adulthood, making children especially vulnerable. (Photo Credit: Pixabay)

While these health officials are pushing contraceptives on children, they are misleading children to believe that they can have consequence-free sex. Of course, there is no such thing. In fact, aside from the physical risks, the emotional and spiritual harm can be devastating.

The frontal lobe, which hosts impulse control and the ability to predict long-term consequences, isn’t fully developed until well into adulthood. Trusting children to make dangerous, life-altering decisions for themselves is not only ridiculous, but it’s also abusive. Parents must step up to the plate and combat these harmful educational policies.