The news has been filled with all kinds of stories about the 17 pregnant girls at Gloucester (MA) High School and their so-called “pregnancy pact.” Time Magazine originally reported the existence of the pact, but there has been no additional confirmation since then, and the principal who first mentioned it to Time has since decided his memory may be a bit fuzzy.
However, whether the pregnancies resulted from a pact or mere coincidence was not Bill O’Reilly’s point on tonight’s “O’Reilly Factor.” No, the sanctimonious Mr. O’Reilly was determined to lay blame. And where did he lay it? On the young, naive, perhaps reckless teenage girls themselves? Nope. On the parents, who should have educated their daughters, raised them with the proper values, and stayed involved in their lives and activities? Guess again.
O’Reilly was ranting against the school! Why had the school allowed this to happen? Why hadn’t they warned the parents that the girls were at risk? Why hadn’t they taught the girls to protect themselves? He talked about laws and liability and statutory rape.
I’ve said it in other posts and I’ll say it again: The school’s responsibility for its students ends at the curb. At that point, they become their parents’ responsibility. Unless those girls got pregnant on school property, the school has nothing to do with it.
Some of the controversy has been over whether or not the school should have provided contraceptives and/or sex education. That’s irrelevant here. Sure, it might have been nice if contraceptives had been available from the school, assuming the students wanted them, and it might have been nice if the school taught sex education — and maybe it did. But the school is secondary. Contraceptives are widely, publicly available, and sex education should begin at home, long before the school offers a class.
It’s the parents’ responsibility to educate their kids, to prepare them for whatever comes their way in life, to instill the values that will guide their lives and actions.
I wonder if O’Reilly has kids. I wonder if he just threw up his hands and left it to the schools to teach his kids right from wrong. And if he does have kids, why does he spew that irresponsible garbage on his program?
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