Myrtle Point board says no to birth control

MYRTLE POINT — The Myrtle Point School Board rejected a proposal to have the high school distribute condoms to students who ask for them.

The 5-1 vote received a round of applause from the small group of faculty and parents who attended Monday's meeting.

Myrtle High teacher and baseball coach John Zumwalt said during the public forum he was appalled at the proposition and thought it would give students "a green light to partake in activities that should wait."

The issue appeared on the school board agenda after a couple of students asked the school counselor for contraceptives. Superintendent Bruce Shull said he knew it would be a contentious issue when he brought the item before the board.

"This is a community decision," he said. "It is not for us to speak for the community, which is why I think the board should make this decision."

One audience member spoke out in favor of contraceptive distribution. She said kids are going to have sex regardless, and would rather they can go to a counselor for contraceptives and counseling than have a baby.

"We have enough kids that don't have a mom and dad in Myrtle Point," she said.

Randy Robinson, the lone dissenter on the board, said he would like his colleagues to see statistics on teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases in Myrtle Point before ruling out offering contraceptives.

Principal Joe Vore confirmed there have been several pregnancies at the school, but the board did not seek statistics.

Board member Alden Hamlin echoed the majority when he said it's an issue best left to the parents of students.

"I don't want kids pushed into a situation before they're ready," Hamlin said. "We are opening the door and pushing them through."

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