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Mass. superintendent wants to 'protect' kids ... really?

July 04, 2010|By LLOYD "PETE" WATERS

I believe it was Mark Twain who mused, "Sometimes, I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it."

Last week, while watching television, I found the great state of Massachusetts once again was back in the news. Nothing to do with the surprise election of a Republican senator to replace Ted Kennedy this time, but the subject matter was equally controversial.

Seems like the superintendent of the Cape Cod School District wrote a school policy to issue free condoms to its students upon request. And by the way kids, you don't have to tell your parents.

Yeppee! "Can I have thirteen condoms?" might be a question from fifth-grader Johnnie to the school nurse. "Here are your 13 condoms, Johnnie ... please sign the inventory sheet. You can read and write, can't you, Johnnie?" the nurse might ask.

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All Provincetown public school students would be eligible to receive the condoms under this new policy, which would take effect in the fall.

If Pat Robertson thought God delivered an earthquake to Haiti because of its leanings toward voodoo, I don't know what he might be predicting for Massachusetts.

The governor of Massachusetts also voiced his concerns.

As Texas continues to review its schools' curriculums, maybe they might want to add a condom policy.

The Dargan school board already has nixed the idea.

The superintendent who wrote the policy announced that the intent of the document was "to protect kids." Her opinion also suggested that sexual experimentation was not limited to a specific age.

I'm sure glad that the original Pilgrims who landed up there a few years back are dead and gone. Can you imagine what would have happened to the superintendent if she lived in Salem and brought forth such progressive policies in the 1600s?

Yep, I know for sure she would have been dunked in a pool or might have played the lead role as a hot dog on a few burning sticks. Those Puritans didn't mess around back in the day.

This news broadcast got me thinking about some other neat initiatives that might work up in Massachusetts to protect kids.

Maybe in those schools, it might be a good idea to learn about acceptable behavior and how to act and perform like a responsible citizen.

That would seem like a good way to "protect kids."

Maybe we could teach the kids not to join gangs, rob banks or steal from little old ladies and possibly get shot by law enforcement personnel. That could "protect kids."

Maybe we could teach a lesson on "Alternatives to Violence" to reduce fights and harassment in the schools. That could "protect kids."

Or maybe they could teach their kids about those ugly sexually transmitted diseases, and the best way to avoid catching one of them - don't be promiscuous. (Yuck, we can't even spell that up here in Massachusetts!)

While thinking about the Massachusetts school system and the "protecting kids" concept, I could not help but recall the suicide of Phoebe Prince, who attended South Hadley High School in March of this year.

She was a 15-year-old freshman who was allegedly raped, harassed, stalked and bullied by six other students who were criminally charged in that Massachusetts school.

She allegedly committed suicide because of the torment she received from other students during and after school hours.

The Massachusetts school system's bullying policy didn't protect its school kids during the bullying incident, and I doubt their condom policy will protect anyone either.

Yep, Massachusetts and the world, for sure, are going down the road in a hand basket, but I still can't tell whether it's the smart people or the imbeciles who are taking us there.

Lloyd "Pete" Waters is a Sharpsburg resident who writes for The Herald-Mail.

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