COMMENTRY | Promoting safe sex practices is a worthy endeavor, but should it be done at public expense and be posted in view of young children? The Planned Parenthood "Take Care Down There" campaign will likely influence very few and spend thousands of taxpayer dollars in the process. Clear Channel refused to post the explicit billboard images in the regions of Ohio it services, according to the Associated Press. The Columbus Public Health Department garnered $20,000 from a federal social services program to create the advertisements.
The "Take Care Down There" website issues a disclaimer about the mature content visitors must read and click through before entering. The campaign is directed toward young adults and gay middle-aged men, the Associated Press reports. Roadside billboards cannot exclude the age-inappropriate material from being read by elementary school students.
Childhood seems to just get shorter and taxpayer money should not be used to further erode the innocence of youth.
Teaching children to make healthy lifestyle choices at an early age will help protect them when they are older. While the goal of the billboards might be worthwhile, parents should not be forced to address such issues before they feel their children are mature enough to understand the conversation. Taxpayers should not be forced to pay for billboards which are aimed at educating older teens and adults about safe sex.
The health department rejected reasonable suggestions by the Clear Channel to edit the billboard so it could meet the company's public display standards. WSYX reports the Columbus health agency will attempt to find another company willing to post the billboard campaign without revisions.It is ridiculous to believe a colorful billboard or funny video will prompt individuals to suddenly alter their bedroom habits. If a catchy phrase on a sign was the ultimate tool in behavior modification, there would no longer be a drug problem in this country.