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Condoms: The New Diploma Essay

The logic and motivation behind this country’s mad dash to distribute free condoms in our public schools is ridiculous and misguided. Worse, the message conveyed by mass condom distribution is a disservice and borders on being lethal. Condom distribution sanctions, even encourages, sexual activity, which in teen years tends to be promiscuous and relegates to secondary status the most important lesson to be taught: abstinence. An analysis of the entire condom distribution logic also provides a glimpse into just what is wrong with public education today. First things first. Advocates of condom distribution say that kids are going to have sex, that try as we might we can’t stop them. Therefore they need protection. Hence, condoms. Well, hold on a minute. Just whose notion is it that “kids are going to do it anyway, you can’t stop them”? Why limit the application of that brilliant logic to sexual activity? Let’s just admit that kids are going to do drugs and distribute safe, untainted drugs every morning in home room. Kids are going to smoke, too, we can’t stop them, so let’s provide packs of low-tar cigarettes to the students for their after-sex smoke.

Kids are going to get guns and shoot them, you can’t stop them, so let’s make sure that teachers have bulletproof vests. I mean, come on! If we are really concerned about safe sex, why stop at condoms? Let’s convert study halls to Safe Sex Centers where students can go to actually have sex on nice double beds with clean sheets under the watchful and approving eye of the school nurse, who will be on hand to demonstrate, along with the principal, just how to use a condom. Or even better: If kids are going to have sex, let’s put disease-free hookers in these Safe Sex Centers. Hey, if safe sex is the objective, why compromise our standards? There is something else very disturbing about all this. Let’s say that Johnnie and Susie are on a date in Johnny’s family sedan. Johnny pulls in to his town’s designated Teen Parking Location hoping to score a little affection from Susie. They move to the backseat and it isn’t long before Johnny, on the verge of bliss, whips out his trusty high school-distributed condom and urges Susie not to resist him. She is hesitant, being a nice girl and all, and says she doesn’t think the time is right. “Hey, everything is okay. Nothing will go wrong. Heck, the school gave me this condom, they know what they’re doing. You’ll be fine,” coos the artful and suave Johnny.

Aside from what is obviously wrong here, there is something you probably haven’t thought of which to me is profound. Not that long ago, school policy, including that on many college campuses, was designed to protect the girls from the natural and instinctive aggressive pursuit of young men. Chaperones, for example, were around to make sure the girls were not in any jeopardy. So much for that thinking now. The schools may just as well endorse and promote these backseat affairs. The kids are going to do it anyway. Well, here’s what’s wrong. There have always been consequences to having sex. Always. Now, however, some of these consequences are severe: debilitating venereal diseases and AIDS. You can now die from having sex. It is that simple. If you look, the vast majority of adults in America have made adjustments in their sexual behavior in order to protect themselves from some of the dire consequences floating around out there. For the most part, the sexual revolution of the sixties is over, a miserable failure. Free love and rampant one-night stands are tougher to come by because people are aware of the risks.

In short, we have modified our behavior. Now, would someone tell me what is so difficult about sharing this knowledge and experience with kids? The same stakes are involved. Isn’t that our responsibility, for crying out loud, to teach them what’s best for them? If we adults aren’t responding to these new dangers by having condom-protected sex anytime, anywhere, why should such folly be taught to our kids? Let me try the Magic Johnson example for you who remain unconvinced. Imagine that you are in the Los Angeles Lakers locker room after a game and you and Magic are getting ready to go hit the town. Outside the locker room are a bunch of young women, as there always are, and as Magic had freely admitted there always were, and that you know that the woman Magic is going to pick up and take back to the hotel has AIDS. You approach Magic and say, “Hey, Magic! Hold on! That girl you’re going to take back to the hotel with you has AIDS. Here, don’t worry about it.

Take these condoms, you’ll be fine.” Do you think Magic would have sex with that woman? Ask yourself: Would you knowingly have sex with anyone who has AIDS with only a condom to protect you from getting the disease? IT doesn’t take Einstein to answer that question. So, why do you think it’s okay to send kids out into the world to do just that? Who is to know who carries the HIV virus, and on the chance your kid runs into someone who does have it, are you confident that a condom will provide all the protection he or she needs? Doesn’t it make sense to be honest with kids and tell them the best thing they can do to avoid AIDS or any of the other undesirable consequences is to abstain from sexual intercourse? It is the best way–in fact, it is the only surefire way–to guard against sexual transmission of AIDS, pregnancy, and venereal diseases. What’s so terrible about saying so? Yet, there are those who steadfastly oppose the teaching of abstinence, and I think they should be removed from any position of authority where educating children is concerned. In New York, the City Board of Education narrowly won (403) the passage of a resolution requiring the inclusion of teaching abstinence in the AIDS education program in the spring of 1992.

No one was trying to eliminate anything from the program, such as condom distribution or anal sex education (which does occur in New York public school sex education classes). All they wanted was that abstinence also be taught. Yet, the Schools Chancellor, Joseph Fernandez, vigorously fought the idea, saying it would do great damage to their existing program! Well, just how is that? The fact is that abstinence works every time it is tried. As this book went to press, the New York Civil Liberties Union was considering filing a lawsuit to stop this dangerous new addition to the curriculum. Now what in the name of God is going on here? This is tantamount to opposing a drug education program which instructs students not to use drugs because it would not be useful. The Jacksonville, Florida, school board also decided that abstinence should be the centerpiece of their sexual education curriculum, and the liberals there were also outraged about this.

What is so wrong with this? Whose agenda is being denied by teaching abstinence and just what is that agenda? Jacksonville teachers are telling seventh-graders that “the only safe sex is no sex at all.” Sex education classes provide some information about birth control and sexually transmitted diseases, but these areas are not the primary focus of the classes. Nancy Corwin, a member of the school board, admits the paradox when she says that the schools send a nonsensical message when they teach kids not to have sex but then given them condoms. Instead of this twaddle, the Jacksonville school board has decided to teach real safe sex, which is abstinence. However, six families, along with Planned Parenthood and the ACLU, are suing the schools over this program. This bunch of curious citizens says that teaching abstinence puts the children at a greater risk of catching AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases. Greater risk? !£#$£@! How can that be? What kind of contaminated thinking is this? The suit alleges that the schools are providing a “fear-based program that gives children incomplete, inaccurate, biased, and sectarian information.”

You want more? Try this: Linda Lanier of Planned Parenthood says, “It’s not right to try to trick our students.” Trick the students? #£&@£!? If anyone is trying to trick students, it’s Planned Parenthood and this band of hedonists who try to tell kids that a condom will protect them from any consequences of sex. Folks, here you have perhaps the best example of the culture war being waged in our country today. To say that “teaching abstinence is a trick” is absurd. Is Ms. Lanier having sex every night of the week? What adjustments has she made in her sex life because of AIDS? Does she think that a little sheath of latex will be enough to protect her? This is terribly wrong. The Jacksonville public school system is attempting to teach right from wrong, as opposed to teaching that sex does not have any consequences, which I believe is the selfish agenda these people hold dear. I have stated elsewhere in this book, and I state it again here, that there are many people who wish to go through life guilt-free and engage in behavior they know to be wrong and morally vacant.

In order to assuage their guild they attempt to construct and impose policies which not only allow them to engage in their chosen activities but encourage others to do so as well. There is, after all, strength in numbers. Promiscuous and self-gratifying, of-the-moment sex is but one of these chosen lifestyles. Abortions on demand and condom distribution are but two of the policies and programs which, as far as these people are concerned, ensure there are no consequences. As one disgusted member of the Jacksonville school board said, “Every yahoo out there has a social program that they want to run through the school system. We are here for academic reasons and we cannot cure the social evils of the world.” The worst of all of this is the lie that condoms really protect against AIDS. The condom failure rate can be as high as 20 percent.

Would you get on a plane–or put your children on a plane–if one in five passengers would be killed in flight? Well, the statistic holds for condoms, folks. It would be easy to understate the significance of society’s recent infatuation with condoms by saying that it is just symptomatic of the larger moral decline in our societal values. But that would miss the vital point that free condom distribution in public schools can be a matter of life and death. Yet, the myths continue, and in the name of protecting our youth, the condom pushers are putting their lives at risk. In light of all this outright stupidity, is it any wonder that the parents and middle-class citizens of this country are ready to explode with rage over the moral and ethical directions in which their kids are being taken?

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