What would you do if your school district shortened the school week? I don’t know about you, but if my children’s school week was shortened from five days to four, my concerns would be:
a) would they be losing out on valuable learning time?
b) would they lose focus on school by having a three-day weekend each week?
c) how would this day off for them mesh with my own work week?
d) all of the above.
My mind would not go to the big concern that adults in Elbert, Georgia, have, where parents reportedly think their kids are going to use that day off of school to have unprotected sex.
Jezebel happened upon this story about how in Elbert, the County Board of Education had to do some big cuts to their budget and one of the ways to save money was to shorten the school week. But some are concerned that this time off with no parents around may spell trouble – if trouble was spelled s-e-x that is.
“When students have additional unsupervised time, it may facilitate opportunities to engage in risky sexual behaviors,” Matthew Lee Smith, assistant professor in the Department of Health Promotion and Behavior at UGA’s College of Public Health said to Georgia Health News. “Although not all teens will capitalize on these opportunities for risk-taking, the weekly absence of parents or guardians during the Monday workday may afford students with extended time to fraternize with members of the opposite sex without supervision.”
There are some reasons why the parents of Elbert may be concerned. “Elbert has had the problem of teen pregnancy for a long time,” said Adriane Strong, the adolescent health educator of the Teen Matters Clinic in Elberton to the Georgia Health News. “The teen birth rate was higher several years ago, then it came down. But recently, it may have gone back up,” Strong said.
Another issue is that the kids just get bored in their rural town. “We have no malls, no movie theater, no bowling alley in Elbert,” said Strong. “There isn’t a lot for teens to do. When they have more time on their hands, we really cannot control what may happen.”
Do you think parents should worry about another day off for their kids or perhaps they should get involved some way in order to keep their kids busy?