Portland's school-based health centers have not been reporting all illegal sexual activity involving minors as required by law, but they will from now on, city officials said Thursday.When the story was first reported nobody in the news media brought up the issue of sex with anyone under age 14 was illegal. The public was never informed that a health care provider, at school or in private practice, MUST report known and suspected cases of sex involving persons under 13 to the state's Department of Health and Human Services.
Cumberland County District Attorney Stephanie Anderson questioned the health centers' reporting practices after the Portland School Committee decided last week to offer prescription birth control at the King Middle School health center.
The King Student Health Center has offered comprehensive reproductive health care, including providing condoms and testing for sexually transmitted diseases, since it opened in 2000. The school serves students in grades 6 to 8, ages 11 to 15.
Maine law prohibits having sex with a person under age 14, regardless of the age of the other person involved, Anderson said.
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It is clear that in their eagerness to provide birth control to kids, the school board and the health care provider at the school's health center ignored the law and ignored the parents' rights over their children.
I think schools should refrain from providing such services, that is, providing birth control. Some school health centers have taken and expanded patients' privacy rights beyond the scope given to them, especially when they are dealing with minors.