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  • Caesar Rodney school board nixes birth control shot for students

  • For years, students at Caesar Rodney High School have been able to receive condoms and birth control pills at the school’s wellness center, so long as they have prior authorization from their parents.
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  • For years, students at Caesar Rodney High School have been able to receive condoms and birth control pills at the school’s wellness center, so long as they have prior authorization from their parents.
    But the Caesar Rodney school board on Tuesday drew the line at providing female students with access to injections of Depo-Provera birth control.
    School board member Melody Heavner said she cast one of the four votes against the proposal because parental-approved access to the wellness center is an “all or nothing” proposition, meaning parents would not be specifically notified before the daughters receive the injections.
    “I think that if this room was filled to the max with parents who have daughters and you brought this forward there be a huge uproar about ‘that is my child and me and my child can make that decision’” she said.
    Wellness Center Director Gloria J. Shuba said seeking consent from parents specifically to administer the contraceptive injections would be a violation of patient confidentiality.
    School board member Cheryl Precourt later said she took issue with the fact that such services must be reported to the state, but not to parents.
    “Depo Provera and other medications have serious side effects and a parent should be involved every step of the way, especially when it involves the use of powerful mediations that could have serious ramifications on their child’s health,” she said Thursday via email. “I personally do not want to be responsible for stepping over what I believe is a parent’s natural right to direct the education and wellbeing of their child.”
    Shuba had proposed the Depo- Provera injections be added to the wellness center, claiming the shot would be a better option for girls who struggle to remember to take the pill.
    She said she administered birth control pills to 23 students last school year. But if students come to the wellness center and ask for the shot, they are referred elsewhere, she said.
    “There was one student that I had to refer out who wasn’t a good pill taker,” she said. “She didn’t keep the appointment she had. She didn’t have transportation and she became pregnant … If I had [the shot] in my cupboard and offered it to her, I think we could have prevented a pregnancy.”
    The wellness center, which is run by the state division of public health in conjunction with Bayhealth Medical Center, began offering oral contraceptives in 2011, after the school board authorized the wellness center to distribute condoms and birth control pills and administer HIV tests.
    Page 2 of 2 - About 53 percent of students at the high school have parental consent to use the wellness center, and reproductive services are only a small portion of what the center does, Shuba said.
    Heavner and Precourt, along with fellow board members William Bush and P. Scott Wilson voted against allowing the shot to be administered.
    Board President Kathleen Haynes cast the only vote to allow the injections.
    “I think that we should make available to our students all the options,” she said. “We offer oral contraceptives. This is another form of contraceptive that may be more effective and more useful to our students … Parents still have the control whether to register their student for the wellness center.”
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