April 18, 2011

Issues  (check corresponding number in ‘Details’ and ‘Action’ Sections)

1.)    Was the Day of Silence in Your School?

2.)    Philadelphia and Mail Order Condoms for 11 year olds


1.)    You might be surprised!  We know the Day of Silence was permitted in Abington High School (Montgomery County), Springfield High School (Delaware County),  Pennsbury High School (Bucks County,  and Big Spring High School (Cumberland County)  We received a phone call late this afternoon saying it was also held in the Wilmington Area High School in Lawrence County.  Of the 500 school districts in PA just how many participated in the Day of Silence?  The Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network now keeps the list of participants top secret; apparently so parents and taxpayers cannot easily find if their child’s school is participating.  Did your area school observe the Day of Silence?

2.)    If you live in the Philadelphia area, you need to check out this website which offers free condoms for young children and animated instructions on how to use them!  In 2003, Philadelphia was the first major city to offer STD testing in public high schools.  Chlamydia remains the most commonly reported infectious disease in the city, with one out of every 10 females aged 15 to 19 having reported a case in 2009.  The infection rate for syphilis in the city’s young-adult population, in some segments, has doubled in the last three years.  Cases of gonorrhea were up 26 percent in the first six months of 2010 compared to the same period in 2009  No one can deny there is a problem, but is providing more free condoms going to solve the problem or encourage more kids to become sexually active.  Every week volunteers with the Youth Outreach Adolescent Community Program visit high risk neighborhoods handing out free condoms and offering on the spot STD testing.  Apparently all those free condoms have not helped, so the Health Department figures they will use more taxpayer dollars to broaden a failed program.  Those same dollars could be used more wisely in delivering an abstinence message and programs to help kids remain pure.  Of course, the churches should also step in not only in Philadelphia but across the Commonwealth and address this critical issue.

Action Steps

1.) If you know the middle or high school near you observed the Day of Silence last Friday, please let the AFA of PA know by return e-mail or call us at (814) 271-9078.   Where do all those school board candidates in your district stand on the Day of Silence and gay clubs in the middle and high schools?

2.) If you live in the Philly area and you don’t think the Philadelphia Department of Health idea of handing out more free condoms is a good idea, contact them at 215-685-6570.  Click here for the 86 page Department of Health guide entitled “Zelda Guide:  Health Services for Philadelphia Youth.”

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