Students have added their views to the ongoing debate as to whether or not condoms should be distributed in schools as part of the nation’s fight against HIV/AIDS – a discussion which continues to dominate the airways and stir mixed reaction among adults.
Speaking with The Daily OBSERVER, the consensus amongst the students is that sex between teens will continue whether or not condoms are readily available.
“We need the education. Don’t just tell us why not to do it, inform us why we shouldn’t and the consequences. Sex to me is the forbidden fruit and the reality of it is when something is prohibited, we tend to be more interested in it,” an Antigua State College (ASC) engineering student said yesterday. “I grew up in a Christian home and my parents made sex seem like an act of concentrated evil.”
Students from junior secondary and secondary schools told this newspaper that all of their parents’ efforts to protect them could be in vain should they refuse to have the sex talk with their children.
“If there is no condom, once the vibes is already going, then the sex is going to happen,” one Jennings Secondary School student said. “Adults need to realise that some of the blame rests on them because they never want to hear anything and they are so stuck living in the dinosaur age.”
The fourth former said while she doesn’t oppose condoms being distributed in schools, the initiative should be accompanied by increased education about sex.
Some teens admitted that they learnt about their sexuality from someone other than their parents, guardian or even an adult.
Another teenager from Princess Margaret School agreed that parents must accept some of the blame for their children’s misguided actions because they only start talking about the issue after the problem occurs.
The debate continued on OBSERVER’s Voice of the People on Thursday with Youth Director Cleon Athill who said people must be guided to make positive decisions.
Athill said adults must set positive examples for their children to follow.
“We are asking our young people to do things that the adult society does not do; the big people must take responsibility and the very same things that we are asking our young people to do; to be decent and make good decisions, then the adults must mirror them and when we can do that, it is then that we can expect more from our young people,” the youth director said.