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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

*Birth control for 11 year olds?

Below is a blog from "http://momblog.gainesville.com/default.asp?item=689868" and this is a mothers prospective on this issue. I do not agree with the schools move to give students as young as 11 birth control! For so many reasons! A child at the age of 11 should not be worried about if they will get pregnant...and if they are...then i think the school has other issues to worry about before they start handing out birth control! Also, the health issues that could result in a childs life if they started birth control at 11 and continued until marriage...this could be 10 years in most cases...this could cause a child to not be able to become pregnant when they finally want to....those are two of my main reasons....now lets hear from a mothers side:

"Birth control for 11 year olds?

Okay, how can we not discuss this one?

School officials at King Middle School in Portland, Maine, have passed a policy that will allow children as young as 11 to obtain birth-control pills at a middle-school health center without their parents knowing about it, according to a report by the Associated Press.

Parents are required to sign a waiver allowing their children to receive medical care at the school. However, now that medical care -- in the area of birth control -- is kept secret from the parents.

The school defended its decision by saying that the new policy is aimed at a tiny number of sexually active students. It also said that birth control would be given out only after extensive counseling, and no prepubescent children would get it.

The school will become the first middle school in Maine, and apparently one of only a few in the nation, to make available a full range of contraception, including birth-control pills and the patch.

I understand what this school is trying to do -- they are trying to protect sexually active children, who maybe cannot talk to their parents, from getting pregnant. But I think they are missing it. So, here are the big issues I have with this:

1. Birth Control is a medication: Like all medications, there are a slew of side effects that the pill can cause, not to mention the danger of drug interactions. If a kid who is on another medication takes the pill, there could be severe consequences.

2. STDs: I think that simply handing out the pill could give a young girl a false sense of protection. While she may not get pregnant (assuming that she could responsibly take a daily pill that most adults even forget,) what about the risk for STDs?

3. Parents' right to know: This is a big one for me, as a mom. So, you are telling me that you -- the school -- could give my child prescribed medication and I am not allowed to know about it? The thought of that simply makes my blood boil. In trying to protect a small number of students, you are trampling over my rights as a parent.

Okay, so let's hear it. I know there are people on both sides of the fence. Honestly, how do you feel about this? Parents across the country are furious, especially in Portland, Maine. If it were your kid's school, what would you do?"

Go ahead and tackle her questions here!

Monday, October 22, 2007

*Your LA TOPS information LOST!!!

click on the following link to access a secure website to see if you were among those affected:

Additional information, including a toll-free call center number will be provided to you once you have completed this on-line query.

"Sensitive data for virtually all Louisiana college applicants and their parents over the past nine years were in a case lost by a Boston-based contractor last month during a move, officials said.

The lost case held backup data for every Louisiana application for federal student aid -- just about anyone who applied to college -- from 1998 through Sept. 13 of this year. It also involved anyone who had a college savings account under the START Saving Program or who applied for the TOPS scholarship program in those years.

The data included Social Security numbers for applicants and their parents; the bank account information for START account holders also was involved. Sophisticated equipment and knowledge would be required to access the data.

The case was lost Sept. 19 when a driver for a Boston-based contractor failed to follow company procedures when loading it onto his vehicle, according to a statement e-mailed Wednesday by Laura Sudnik, spokeswoman for Iron Mountain Inc.

"Our entire business is built around high security and reliability and we regret that this employee error took place," the data-protection and storage company said.

The driver was fired. Sudnik said the man had worked five years for Iron Mountain and his work record had been in good standing. The loss of the case was an accident without malicious intent, Sudnik said.

The data was being moved from Iron Mountain's Port Allen storage building to Baton Rouge. Iron Mountain said it notified the state immediately of the problem, but Amrhein said the office waited until this week to discuss the loss publicly to allow time to find the case.

Colleges did not learn about the problem until Monday, said Jim McCoy, LSU vice provost for enrollment management. "We're working diligently today to find out exactly what this means," McCoy said.

The student aid office set up a telephone hotline and posted a notice on its web site with a link to a secure site where people can find out if their records were among those lost. It advised people affected to place fraud reports with credit agencies and for those whose bank accounts were affected, to change the accounts.

More than 60 college-related records breaches have occurred nationwide this year, according to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.

State Commissioner of Higher Education Joseph Savoie said he was shocked by the large number of breaches. "The whole issue of identity protection is something everyone needs to be concerned about," Savoie said."

Student aid's office notice, with secure link:



Source: http://www.boston.com/news/education/higher/articles/2007/10/17/sensitive_financial_data_lost_on_louisiana_college_applicants/