But when a Fairfax County, Virginia mom got word that her daughter would receive a two-week suspension for the birth control pill, she was shocked,
I realize my daughter broke a rule. The punishment does not fit the crime.
I’ll say. Whether or not you believe in teens and birth control, it was a decision the girl made with her mom. And because she responsibly remembered to take the hormone on her lunch break, the Zero Tolerance Policy mandated she be punished.
Now the teen is even facing expulsion. WTF?!
Yeah, I get it. Kids nowadays know how to snort prescription medications, which are way easier to get their grubby little hands on than some illegal drugs.
But this chica has obviously had enough honesty with her mother to get the Pill. She’s obviously responsible enough to remember to take the med. Actually, she’s an honor student and letter athlete. That delinquent!
Deb Hauser of Advocates for Youth, a D.C.-based organization that focuses on adolescent sexual health, said,
To put birth control in the same category as illegal drugs or handguns stigmatizes responsible behavior.
Yeah. The girl is not exactly going to be cutting up the estrogen and sharing it with friends. (If the kids want to be exposed to estrogen–or something that mimics it–they can simply sip on some high-energy pop out of cans or drink their sports drinks out of BPA-laden plastic bottles. Whee! What a high!)
As for me? I’m the stepmama of a 13-year-old. If she goes to the nurse for a tummy ache or sniffly nose, she’s bound to be given Tylenol. (Er?! I don’t have a medical degree, but really?!) That is, until I asked them to call me with each and every dosing. But now I wonder: Dude, could she get busted for the Boiron stress headache pills I sent with her to school? Are even homeopathics under scrutiny?
Incidentally, I live in Virginia. (A Midwestern Yankee in rural VA.) According to the WaPo:
In Virginia, school systems must comply with state code regarding prescription medications and illegal drugs on campus. Students face expulsion if they bring to school any “controlled substance” or addictive drug regulated by the federal government. “Imitation controlled substances,” which could include virtually any prescription pill, are subject to the same hefty repercussions. Local school boards can give a lighter punishment after a review
So yeah, I should be worried about our own teen and her “fake meds”, the homeopathics.
Look, I get the Zero Tolerance policy. But let’s not let the rules be blind to responsible med-taking.
Incidentally, the Fairfax school is allowing a hearing where these concerns can be voiced. The family is asking that the reexamine their rules so that students like her aren’t made to “needlessly suffer” in the future.
Maybe next time the teen will just head down to the nurse’s office and get some Tylenol to wash down with that Pill. It’ll at least alleviate the big headache of this mess. (Plus, I hear it’s great for a stuffy nose. Weird!)
Source: Washington Post
Image: SarahConsolacion on Flickr under a Creative Commons License.