-- Thomas Jefferson
"Censorship reflects society's lack of confidence in itself........"
-- Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart
"This is slavery, not to speak one's thought."
--Euripedes [Greek tragic poet]
Yesterday Oak Ridge High School censored The Oak Leaf due to articles pertaining to contraceptives, abstinence, and body piercing. The administration's actions in this matter were rash and unreasonable, not to mention unlawful because of The Oak Leaf's public forum status. It doesn't matter what the subject is, I am strongly against censorship. Despite any hostility I've expressed toward The Oak Leaf (which everyone at ORHS has), I support Brittney and the rest of the Oak Leaf staff.
I just heard about this yesterday from Mr. Pickering and never realized how huge this shit would get. I've heard legal action, by the one teacher who runs the paper, against the princial/ school board.
Here is the article that caused The Oak Leaf, the ORHS paper, to be censored. It made it onto the front pages of the Knoxville News Sentential and the Oak Ridger.
by Krystal Meyers
According to a poll taken in 2001, if applied to ORHS today, then there would be
34% of ninth graders = 143 sexually active students
41% of tenth graders = 147 sexually active students
52% of eleventh graders = 195 sexually active students
60 % of twelfth graders = 207 sexually active students
**This information was provided by Dr. Charles E. Darling, an obstetrician with the Anderson County Health center. **
If these figures hold true, 692 ORHS students have had sexual intercourse. There are many concerns for these teens, including emotional health, STD’s, and pregnancies. I want to discuss how to lower the risk of unwanted pregnancy.
While complete sexual abstinence is certainly an option, these statistics say that many teens aren’t choosing that option.
My opinion is, if you’re going to have sex, then be safe. There are so man things out there that can keep you safe. These methods include:
The pill with an 8% failure rate
Male condoms with a 14% failure rate
Rhythm (avioding sexual contact when the female is fertile) with a 20% failure rate
Withdrawal (pulling out) with a 24% failure rate
Cervical caps with a 20% failure rate
Spermicides with a 26% failure rate
Depo-Provera (an intra-muscular shot received every 12 weeks) with a 3.1% failure rate
Mirena IUD (a hormone releasing intrauterine contraceptive) with a 0.1% failure rate
ParaGaurd IUD (a non-hormone releasing intrauterine contraceptive) with a 0.8% failure rate
A diaphragm with a 12% failure rate
“There are some things that a lot of people don’t know about many of these contraceptives that make the failure rate so high,” Dr. Darling cautions.
The only way for male condoms to actually work correctly is as soon as the male ejaculates he must pull out so there won’t be any leakage into the vaginal area. This, unfortunately, is not widely practiced and therefore ups the risk of pregnancy.
“If you are taking any medications and you wish to be put on Depo-Provera you should go and talk to your OB/GYN before and make sure that they will work together. There have been many cases where a certain medication has shortened the 12 week infertility period by almost 3 weeks. This causes women to be able to get pregnant during this time period,” said a current substitute teacher and a former employee at a pregnancy center, who asked that we not use her name.
“Withdrawal is risky because many men do not realize when semen is released the first bit of semen contains a large quantity of sperm,” Dr. Darling stated.
If you are considering any kind of birth control, please talk to your doctor first and let him know of any medications that you may be on to be sure that it is right for you.
Statistics show the number of teens involved with sexual intercourse has been declining since 1991; now 43% of women and 49% of men admit to being sexually active in high school.
“Continuous use of the pill and the patch has not been well studied, nor are there large studies done on the effectiveness of the vaginal ring,” said Darling.
“If you get a pregnancy test done and you find out that you are pregnant, you can make sure that the parents do not know. Also parental consent is not needed to obtain birth control,” stated Darling.
Contraceptives can be obtained through a local physician or the local Health Department. The Anderson County Health Department is open on Mon - Fri 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and is located at 100 N Main St, Clinton, TN 37716. You can reach them during normal business hours at (865) 457-6228