Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Defining Deviancy Down

Have we had enough? It’s beginning to look that way. The final straw? Maybe. Kids, 11-13, can now get birth control pills at Portland’s King Middle School, possibly without their parents’ knowledge. Boys’ voices haven’t changed yet but the school gives them condoms. Five students told the nurse they were sexually active and she decided that the school should prescribe them birth control. The School Committee in that bluest city of the very blue state of Maine agreed with a 7-2 vote. According to the Portland Press Herald: “Of 134 students who visited King's health center during the 2006-07 school year, five students, or 4 percent, reported having sexual intercourse, said Amanda Rowe, lead nurse in Portland's school health centers. ‘This is a service that is totally needed,’ Rowe said. ‘It’s about very few kids, but they are kids who don’t have the same opportunities and access as other students.’”

Opportunities? What is she talking about? She wants to offer them opportunities to behave irresponsibly and avoid some of the consequences? What will she offer next? A taxi service to Planned Parenthood’s Abortion Clinic? Or, is she offering the rest of us an opportunity to keep our blinders on, to avoid taking a hard look at how low our culture has sunk? Students need parental permission to take Tylenol, but not to take strong hormonal birth control pills or injections - or even to get an abortion. Parents of school kids might object if they knew their unborn grandchildren were going to be killed. Better that they never know there was a pregnancy. What they don’t know won’t hurt them.

The blue “progressives” who rule this state believe we must catch up to Canada and Europe with their enlightened permissiveness and socialized medicine. They agree with Hillary Clinton that It Takes A Village to raise a child and parents sometimes get in the way. Some mothers and fathers here in Maine don’t believe the varied versions of sexuality so popular in Portland are wonderful things. They still think a lot of them are just plain wrong and they don’t want parades to celebrate them. So it becomes necessary for Hillary Clinton’s Village People to go around bigoted parents and use schools to influence their kids “progressively” - make students more like those sophisticated Europeans. It’s for the children.

When the story broke, Maine’s Christian Civic League (CCL) demanded that state Attorney General Stephen Rowe investigate Portland’s school-based health clinics for not reporting underage sexual activity as Maine state law requires. That was awkward, because Rowe is married to Amanda Rowe, the lead nurse who wants to pass out the birth control. Cumberland County District Attorney Stephanie Anderson did investigate, however, and determined that the CCL was right - sexual activity by thirteen-year-olds violates Maine law and has to be reported. According to the Press Herald:
Although Portland officials intend to comply with the law, exactly what the law requires remains unclear, [Portland City Attorney Gary] Wood said. Having sex with a 13-year-old is clearly illegal, he said, but the law doesn't address the possibility of the other person involved being 13 years old, too. "I think (Anderson) has raised a legitimate point," Wood said. "I'm just not sure that consensual sexual activity (between two 13-year-olds) constitutes abuse." If Anderson's office received a report of two 13-year-olds having sex, she said, each minor would be considered a victim and a perpetrator and the case likely wouldn't be prosecuted. Wood said he plans to seek guidance from Maine Attorney General Steven Rowe.”

Around and around it goes. Where the buck stops, nobody knows - not in Portland anyway. Maybe the Village People there can look to those sophisticated Europeans for guidance about what to do next. An Oslo, Norway paper reported last week that:

Norwegians woke up Tuesday morning to news that a respected Oslo pre-school teacher, backed by child psychologists, thinks children should be allowed to openly express their own sexuality, not least through sex play and games in the local day care centers known as barnehager, or kindergartens. . . . Pia Friis, leader of the popular Bjerkealleen Barnehage in Oslo and a well-known pre-school educator, told newspaper Dagbladet on Tuesday that children should be allowed to express their own sexuality at day care centers. She doesn't want to stifle what comes naturally. Children, she said, should be able "to look at each other and examine each other's bodies. They can play doctor, play mother and father, dance naked and masturbate.”

I wish I were making all this up but, sadly, I’m not. It’s outrageous of course, but so was the idea of “marriage” between two men or two women only ten years ago. As Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan said four decades ago, we’re “defining deviancy down.” How low can we go? There’s evidence that we may finally be nearing bottom. In Norway, there’s a backlash to the idea of naked, masturbating kindergarteners similar to the backlash Portland’s Village People are feeling about their idea of birth control for eleven-year-olds. Have people finally had enough? Maybe. About time, huh?

2 comments:

Mike Lange said...

Excellent column. I predict a huge increase in private school enrollment in the Greater Portland area.

It will be interesting to see how far the recall petition goes. Too bad it's been labeled strictly as a Republican-generated document. This shouldn't be a partisan issue.

Tom said...

wait till the doggies start protesting for child, err, puppy support from man/dog relationships...