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Why would you NOT want a sexual health drop in clinic in school?

(128 Posts)
jennycrofter Thu 15-Nov-12 10:22:34

Parent meeting at school last night and the HT said he had been approached to have a drop in centre operate in school once a week. It was a very small meeting (6 parents, 1 pupil rep) and everyone there thought it a good idea, if a relatively private location could be found within the school.

However, the HT was fairly insistent that "parents" would object, and that oral contraceptives would handed out to underage children, which would cause local outrage. We're not in England, so parents apparently don't have a right to know.

I'm of the opinion that anything that makes it easier and safer for the children to access good advice has to be a good thing. If DC were thinking about becoming sexually active I'd want them to be able to access support quickly and easily, from someone trained in exactly that. There is no where else in town that does it, and the local health centre is the least private building I've ever come across.

Any thoughts? Does your school do anything similar? How does it work??

WongaDotMom Thu 15-Nov-12 19:47:58

I agree 100% with AThingInYourLife

A school should be a sanctuary where pupils are protected from the pressure to have sex.

If anything should be handed out for free it should be buckets of iced water to throw over the horny little fuckers before they are sent back to class. grin

senua Thu 15-Nov-12 19:49:01

OP said that the centre would "operate in school once a week". What happens if someone urgently needs a MAP on one of the non-clinic days? What happens to the service during the holidays?

If the answer is to go to the normal provision, then why not do that anyway?

AThingInYourLife Thu 15-Nov-12 19:50:43

"if a teen is going to be sexually active, then they need access to them, and good advice about sex all along - it's just a question of how/when to provide this advice so that it is both easily accessible, and yet at the same time doesn't normalise underage sex in such a way to make non-sexually-active teens feel even more abnormal and pressured than they currently do"


InNeedOfBrandy Thu 15-Nov-12 19:54:38

I agree OP Iv'e read the replys and I still cannot understand why you would not want a health clinic in school.

GhostShip Thu 15-Nov-12 20:04:06

My school had one.

It was an absolute godsend. I truly believe it prevented many teenage pregancies, as well as educating us at the same time.
It's easy for kids to go get condoms, but not that they will. These places give the information as well as free contraception.
Ours also give the morning after pill.

They also did STI tests and treatments. They had to treat nearly half of the lads in year 9 at the start of the year, after the summer holidays.

Annunziata Thu 15-Nov-12 20:05:31

I don't think putting it in a school makes it easily accessible though. Everyone knows where people sit for lunch, in a small school, and if you're not in Maths the day that the clinic happens to run, well, everyone will know where you are, won't they? So you wouldn't go.

I like the buckets of water idea grin

GhostShip Thu 15-Nov-12 20:05:32

Before we had this place, we'd have to catch the bus after school to go to the brook advisory centre. which wasnt reliable, but a chance at that age we took.

Annunziata Thu 15-Nov-12 20:06:11

Oops- cross posts with GhostShip. I'm honestly really surprised that so many of them went!

GhostShip Thu 15-Nov-12 20:07:05

Annunziata - the whole point is to make it not a big deal to go. Introducing the clinic through a general sex ed lesson. No-one was ashamed of going in my school. Probably because the 'popular kids' went.

InNeedOfBrandy Thu 15-Nov-12 20:07:30

Of course having it in school makes it more accessible. What about teens that have been grounded but desperately need MAP or such like and cannot tell their parents.

GhostShip Thu 15-Nov-12 20:08:14

cross posted again ha.

Seriously, most teens arent ashamed of things like this. If they need the help they'll go and get it. I'm now 21 and not much has changed according to my younger brother who has just left the same school. A lot of them seemed to show off about going to be honest.

InNeedOfBrandy Thu 15-Nov-12 20:08:32

We all went to brook to, in massive groups. It wasn't a big deal but it would of been better being in the school.

GhostShip Thu 15-Nov-12 20:09:27

Inneed - same here! But like you said, if we were grounded we were done for! Or if we had got detention after school.

Annunziata Thu 15-Nov-12 20:09:39

That's quite interesting. I suppose it wouldn't be the same everywhere though. I get the impression it wouldn't work in my own DC's school. The gossip mill is ferocious.

jennycrofter Thu 15-Nov-12 20:09:48

Thanks for all the replies.

It really helpful to see the range of opinions. I suppose there will always be problems, hitches, and the question of what to do in the holidays (we're fairly rural, not many options). Personally though, I'm more sure that I'd want the children to have an option to go and see someone, and to see getting advice and information as a normal and healthy approach, not something you only do in a panic when it is too late.

Annunziata Thu 15-Nov-12 20:10:27

Plus we're in a city, so plenty of other places to go.

InNeedOfBrandy Thu 15-Nov-12 20:14:51

i live in Bristol it is quite a big city with a brook (open everyday for drop in), bristol sexual health service clinc (again open everyday for drop in), Drs that do swabs and in every single part of Bristol there is at least 2 clinics a week. I still say in school would be much better with nurses trained specifically for teens would be so much better.

MorningPurples Thu 15-Nov-12 20:24:57

I hope the point that you're also taking on board, is that that people who might not think it's a great idea, are not ultra-conservatives who are aghast at the idea of teen receiving advice or contraception, as this is not the case. It's not simply people objecting because they don't like the idea of teens being sexually active, or that they want to sweep the problem under the carpet. Rather, it's people describing how much pressure there is already on teens to think that sex is normal and something everyone does already, and how these sorts of clinics at school would have increased that perception. It's not in any way suggesting that under-age sex doesn't happen, or that there should not be plenty of advice and contraception available, merely that people could underestimate the effect that peer pressure has on teens who wouldn't otherwise be wanting to be sexually active, by making them feel abnormal and out of step with their peers. There are two different populations that are affected - those who are sexually active and need advice and contraception, and those who are not but might become so, simply because of the constant pressure to act like everyone else, who appear (from media and elsewhere) to all be having sex. I think it is easy to forget this second group, or to dismiss those who have concerns about a clinic as simply being out-of-touch, conservative, closed-minded about sex, etc., when that is not always the case.

cavell Thu 15-Nov-12 20:25:44

"No-one was ashamed of going in my school. Probably because the 'popular kids' went. "

In other words, the provision of such services on site not only pressurizes children into seeing underage sex as something that they are virtually expected to indulge in... but that it is what the cool, popular kids do? So that it is pretty much something to aspire to? Awful.

suburbophobe Thu 15-Nov-12 20:30:00

If only from a health point of view, I think this is a good idea.

Strange how in almost 2013 most a lot of people still cannot deal with sex education in a down-to-earth way... While a rampant sexualised society is all around us.

Apart from HIV etc. and related info, isn't UK one of the world's highest teenage pregnancy rates?

Why would you want to perpetuate that?

If people can drop in to a clinic and get confidential Sexual Health info in all its facets, only a good thing in my view.

not sure how it can be confidential having it in a school tho

suburbophobe Thu 15-Nov-12 20:36:47

they don't like the idea of teens being sexually active

Of course not, but this is the reality. So you have to deal with it.

Preferably at home! And also in school.

How about teaching children that they have autonomy over their own (mind &) body...! wink

GhostShip Thu 15-Nov-12 20:42:15

No cavell, not in other words no.

More like the kids knew they wouldn't get bullied for going, because even the 'popular' kids had sexual health worries. It put everyone on equal par.

You can twist it to whichever way you want to back up your own beliefs, but it wasn't like that at all.

I'm a person who benefited from having a sexual health clinic in my school, among with hundreds of others. It isn't about what you want. It's about what these kids need. They're going to do it regardless, we did it before the clinic came along. But the clinics make it safer, so much so.

cavell Thu 15-Nov-12 21:11:56

"My school had one.
It was an absolute godsend......

....They also did STI tests and treatments. They had to treat nearly half of the lads in year 9 at the start of the year, after the summer holidays. "

So, in your experience, the provision of a sexual health clinic in a school coincided with a huge outbreak of STDs in 13-year-olds? hmm

(How do you know this, anyway? No confidentiality issues here?)

InNeedOfBrandy Thu 15-Nov-12 21:14:22

How did ghost say it coincided, she said they treated it. Talk about twisting words and adding on things....

cavell Thu 15-Nov-12 21:52:36

I'm not twisting words at all. Why on earth would almost half of Y9 boys be treated for STDs if they hadn't contracted them in the first place? I don't see how else her words could be interpreted, really. Perhaps someone could elucidate?

(Or maybe you think I was inferring that the outbreak occurred immediately after the clinic opened. Well, I wasn't. I was simply remarking on the extraordinarily high rate of STD infections despite - or, just possibly, because of - the existance of a sexual health clinic on the school site.)

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