Thursday, September 27, 2012

What minors need parental permission for

There was a stir this week when it was revealed that the New York City schools are giving out birth control drugs as well as the morning-after pills to students without notification from parents.
School nurse offices stocked with the contraceptives can dispense “Plan B” emergency contraception and other oral or injectable birth control to girls without telling their parents — unless parents opt out after getting a school informational letter about the new program.

CATCH — Connecting Adolescents To Comprehensive Health — is part of a citywide attack against the epidemic of teen pregnancy, which spurs many girls — most of them poor — to drop out of school.
Only a few parents have actually opted out of this policy. I suspect that they just weren't aware that they have to do so.

As a teacher, this amazes me. We can't give out an aspirin to students without parental permission. Yet they can give out much more powerful drugs without parents being informed.

It's even more ironic in New York where Governor Cuomo just a few weeks ago signed a new law that minors cannot get their ears pierced without getting their parent's permission. Apparently, Cuomo is worried about the health risks from body piercings.

But now what will minors do who want body piercings that their parents won't sign off on? Will New York City be full of kids getting back-alley body piercings? But at least they'll be able to load up on their birth control pills without their parents knowing. That's all that matters.