Adults in Elbert, Georgia are concerned because the County Board of Education cut its budget last year by shortening the school week to four days. But they're not worried that the area's youth might receive a lackluster education that could impede their future prospects; they're nervous that teenagers will spend their day off having tons of sex.
"There is a large gap of time when teens are unsupervised on Mondays," Adriane Strong, the adolescent health educator of the Teen Matters Clinic in Elberton, told Georgia Health News. "That may bring the potential for them to do things that they may not do when they are occupied with school, though they tell me they just stay at home or do babysitting."
Of course it's true that unsupervised teenagers are more willing to engage in risky activities. But it seems pointless to fret over the fact that "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," News flash, America: you can't stop teenagers from having sex with each other if they want to have sex, besides possibly handcuffing them to a church door — and, even then, they'd probably figure something out.
The clinic clearly means well — although they have an "Abstinence Works Best" posted in the office, they give out free birth control and seem to have a realistic outlook regarding teen sexuality in general — and it makes sense that Strong would be worried that three-day weekends could contribute to the rebound of the teen pregnancy rate, especially since the county used to have a higher than average unplanned birth rate among teenagers. But why aren't they brainstorming ways to educate teenagers about the dangers of unprotected sex rather than focusing on limiting the hours of the week during which it could take place?
Long weekends risky for teens? [Georgia Health News]
Image via olly/Shutterstock.