Condoms for Kids: Tempest Brews in Artsy Provincetown, Massachusetts

Sanborn said he likes the way the condom policy "really focuses on education. There is a high awareness factor and safe sex is valued here," he said.

And some Provincetown residents are baffled by why they are getting all this attention for what they see as a comprehensive sex education program.

"I can't believe this is newsworthy," said Pat Patrick, owner of Marine Specialties and father of an 8-year-old. "I honestly am surprised it's an issue."

Patrick, who is not related to the governor but whose wife Shannon sits on the school board, said most third graders would not even know enough to ask for a condom.

"If they do know enough to ask, maybe they should be talking to a counselor," he said.

"I don't like that students can't be discreet about this," said Shannon. "They have to go and ask for it," she told the Provincetown Banner. "I'd rather them not have the conversation [with counselors] and have the condom than not have the condom."

Dr. Ari Brown, an Austin, Texas, pediatrician, said she is not surprised some parents are "up in arms" that giving condoms will encourage sexual activity.

"I disagree," said Brown, author of the parenting book, "Expecting 411." "It will encourage safer sexual activity. I don't think the condoms will be offered up with crayons or construction paper on the school supplies list"

"Some kids are going to have sex," she said. "We'd all like them to wait until they are mature, responsible, and in a monogamous and mutually loving relationship--and the best we can do is to educate our kids in our own homes to make that a reality."

As for Singer, who wrote Provincetown's policy, she said she has "learned a lot" from what many locals say is a tempest in a teapot.

"It gave us an opportunity to relook at the policy with the eyes of a stranger and perhaps, as some in the community have suggested, clean it up," she said.

Singer said they intend to make it clear advice given by counselors will be "age appropriate" and "inclusive of families."

But the policy will stand, she said.

"We weren't expecting this, but it has given us the opportunity to tell what the real policy is," said Singer.

"A student has to initiate this, seek out a nurse or social worker who is professionally trained, to have a conversation in order to get a condom," said Singer. "It can be a teaching opportunity. You can go to a drugstore and buy a condom and not have that conversation."

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