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Schools under fire for offering STD tests during lessons

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posted on Sep, 21 2014 @ 08:27 PM
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Schools under fire for offering STD tests during lessons

Parents furious after learning that their children are being asked to undergo chlamydia tests during school lessons.

Schools have come under fire for offering children tests for sexually transmitted diseases during lessons.

Parents criticised teachers in East Sussex for not alerting them to plans to give swabs to 15 and 16-year-olds, who were left “humiliated” after being asked to test themselves in school toilets.

A spokesman for Brighton and Hove Council, which is running the scheme in nine schools, said the work was “entirely consistent with Government guidelines” which aim to reduce rates of chlamydia, the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI).

Last night health officials were unable to say how widespread such schemes are.

NHS guidance published in 2012 states that under-16s should only be offered such tests without parental knowledge if children cannot be persuaded to tell their parents.

I am not sure how laws, regulations, and policies are in the U.K., maybe one of you on here can shed some light, but here in the U.S. the school has to give notice to parents on issues and topics such as this with the option opt-out. This is crazy and in nine schools!? Further, it is alluded that this may be a widespread scheme. I perfectly understand sex education, especially of STI's, but to humiliate a young girl like this? Sec education is a a parenting role that should only be supplemented by schools to a minimum degree (i.e. this is how an STI works and this is what it does). This is not to mention the scheme seems to be a run around of said 2012 policy "under-16s should only be offered such tests without parental knowledge if children cannot be persuaded to tell their parents" to which when I read in combination with this article I extract the in-between lines of: "be sure to inform your parents of our lesson and if they wish you not to participate have them write a note or call into the school" which I imagine very few teenagers would even mention the lesson let alone say they may be excused. Again though, should the school not have sent home a letter? I think so.


The mother of one teenage girl at Blatchington Mill in Hove criticised the initiative, and said her daughter refused to do the test, because she felt uncomfortable about it.

She said: "I didn't know anything about it beforehand and I think the school should have let us know as parents that our children were going to be asked to do this.

"I know the tests were done by the students in the toilets but I think it is humiliating to ask teenagers in class to do a test for an STI."

Uncomfortable no kidding, how humiliating and without proper private and comfortable facilities!


Ashley Harrold, the school’s deputy headteacher, said children were spoken to about STIs in a “personal and social education” lesson and offered the swabs.

He said: "It is an NHS strategy where, to demystify the test, they can have one to take away and try.

The school said it had received one complaint, which it took seriously.

A statement on the school’s website says: “As part of the session all learners are offered the opportunity (no one is made to do it) to do a Chlamydia test during the lesson in an effort to normalise taking a Chlamydia test.

“It is not anticipated that a great number of these will return a positive result, it is more an exercise to demonstrate how easy and painless doing one is and to reinforce in their minds how and where they can do the test should they need to in the future.”

All secondary state schools in Brighton and Hove except for one Catholic School have signed up to the initiative.

Shouldn't a school's administration have an understanding of adolescent psychology and know most would feel pressure to go along with the tests, that they wouldn't want to go against the flow of their peers, that they might not fully understand their options and rights, that 'authority' pressure would subvert their critical thinking on the matter?

Absolutely ridiculous and it is sick how this issue, amongst several other privacy and zero tolerance issues there are in both U.K. and U.S. schools. I have said for a long time, when I have a child, I am home schooling.




posted on Sep, 21 2014 @ 08:30 PM
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Schools are not in place to do any sort of medical testing. They should only have a nurse to apply bandaids and call parents when the kids aren't feeling well. Otherwise, everything else is up to the parents and their doctors.



posted on Sep, 21 2014 @ 08:36 PM
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Are these mandatory? Unnanounced? Thats a bit over the top.

I could see it if they are having problems with some kid or group of kids that are doing it for fun or sort of bullying.

They beat each other up, why not give an std beatdown, too? Kind of revenge or reprisal sort of. People would hide that knowledge or opt out of tests (unless it was sprung on them).

Okay, flame on. I said I don't know what the details are…



posted on Sep, 21 2014 @ 08:42 PM
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a reply to: AllSourceIntel

It just sounds like the tests were offered if the student wanted to take advantage.

Considering STD testing on one's own costs about 400 bucks depending on where you live, I don't see what the big deal is. Teens that age know if they are having sex. In that case they have the option to see if they want to get a STD test.

Pregnancy and STDs are a huge problem with teenagers, of all the # offered to teens on school halls at least this is useful. Never hear anyone complaining about army booths and blood drives.

Also, donating blood means getting tested for an STD...in case no one was aware.



posted on Sep, 21 2014 @ 08:45 PM
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a reply to: OrphanApology
Yes, I agree that teenagers should have access to tests, but not at school. There are free clinics in the U.S. and especially the U.K. (as part of the health system) for this so cost should not be an issue.

ETA: I am also opposed to military recruiting at schools, blood drives I never considered or thought about.

edit on 9/21/2014 by AllSourceIntel because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 21 2014 @ 08:46 PM
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a reply to: sheepslayer247
I agree in entirety.
...



posted on Sep, 21 2014 @ 08:54 PM
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a reply to: AllSourceIntel

You must have never tried going to all those "free clinics" in the U.S.

I have been without insurance, they do not exist in many places. If they do exist they have rules and guidelines that make it difficult or impossible for many people to even take advantage.Especially teenagers who can only have access to insurance through parents, there are not nearly enough services for sexual health. This results in the U.S. having one of the highest teenage pregnancy and STD rates of developed countries. It is very difficult to get free healthcare in the United States.

Like I said, not a big deal. School offered STD test to any student that wanted to take advantage. I doubt any students who weren't having sex opted in. Schools offer things like this all the time, at colleges and high schools depending on area. Blood drives, STD tests, health screenings and a plethora of other health related things. Cheap way for sexually active youths to get tested if they so choose.



posted on Sep, 21 2014 @ 09:29 PM
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originally posted by: OrphanApology
a reply to: AllSourceIntel
You must have never tried going to all those "free clinics" in the U.S.

I have been without insurance, they do not exist in many places. If they do exist they have rules and guidelines that make it difficult or impossible for many people to even take advantage.Especially teenagers who can only have access to insurance through parents, there are not nearly enough services for sexual health. This results in the U.S. having one of the highest teenage pregnancy and STD rates of developed countries. It is very difficult to get free healthcare in the United States.

I have, without insurance, and without hassle or problem, but every case is different. Yes, we need to do better for health care, especially for teenagers, but that is not the issue at hand.


Like I said, not a big deal. School offered STD test to any student that wanted to take advantage. I doubt any students who weren't having sex opted in. Schools offer things like this all the time, at colleges and high schools depending on area. Blood drives, STD tests, health screenings and a plethora of other health related things. Cheap way for sexually active youths to get tested if they so choose.

Which is where are opinions differ and neither of us is going to convince or sway the other otherwise. Offering these things in college is quite different and acceptable, high school is a another matter. Even if so, how the school went about it was rather messed up, "go test yourself in the rest room" ... really? As far as schools offering things like this all the time, I am not sure about that, and if so, a parent has to be legally informed, which makes the matter entirely different. Aside from me thinking this should not be done, the true atrocity is not informing parents and how they handled the scheme.
edit on 9/21/2014 by AllSourceIntel because: formatting



posted on Sep, 21 2014 @ 10:08 PM
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For a start, the parents probably do not know the kids are having sex, so why would a teenager want to go discuss it with their parents. It would only start a conversation about sex and about STDs and all that stuff and you know how teenagers LOVE that kind of talk.

Testing becomes part of life for them in a few years anyway - or should do when they have different partners etc.

There are two opposing ways to look at this issue and there are far too many young people who are afraid to go see a clinic/doctor about their sexual problems as it is and half of them are getting their sex info from their mates rather than the proper places.

Really, there are far more important thinks to worry about.



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