This particular story is even sadder for me, because it happened right here in the Old Dominion, just about two hours west of Richmond. I had heard about this story at the end of last week, but this particular site puts an interesting spin on it: while this kid needs a doctor’s note to have lip balm applied by the school nurse, in 26 states, she wouldn’t even need parental permission to get an abortion. World gone mad.
A news story has been making the rounds about a ridiculous elementary school regulation against students’ use of lip balm. A fifth-grader named Grace Karaffa requested some Chapstick while on the playground and was denied.
Eleven year-old Grace started a petition to allow Stuarts Draft Elementary School students to use the product and gained 236 signatures before testifying to the school board.
She explained, “I was told I couldn’t use it. Then later that day, they started to bleed so I asked for Chapstick again and I was told that it was against the school policy for elementary kids to have Chapstick.”
The assistant superintendent of administration for Augusta County Public Schools informed reporters that Chapstick is considered an over-the-counter medication by the school board. In Augusta County Public Schools, Chapstick may only be administered by a school nurse and only if a physician has prescribed its use.
This may seem like a somewhat silly story about bureaucracy gone too far. However, it is outrageous and infuriating when you consider that a child may need a physician’s note to apply Chapstick — but, in 26 states and Washington, D.C., teenagers and pre-teens don’t even need parental permission to obtain an abortion.
An 11 year-old girl has to apply to her school district’s board to be able to use Chapstick on her chapped lips. Yet in some states, if an 11 year old girl wants a life-altering and potentially life-threatening surgical procedure, nobody has to know. In many other states, parents, guardians or even just a sibling or “mental health professional,” need only be informed of this child’s decision.