It was time for my introductory session on human reproduction with the 4th graders. At this grade level I met with the boys and girls separately, to reduce the inevitable embarrassment as puberty and bodily changes were discussed.
On this particular day I presented to the girls the entire topic of menstruation. They were quite attentive as they looked at the visual aids I provided and listened to my explanation of the physical process. However, I did notice one student near the front of the room whose eyes were getting bigger and more fear-filled as the class moved along. When I finished, she closed her eyes and her blond curls bobbed as she turned her head repeatedly side to side with a definite “No!”
I invited questions, and saw several girls working up courage to speak. When none of them did so, I called on the dismayed little girl. “Do you have something you would like to ask . . . some concern?” She hesitated just a moment and then spoke, “Nurse Flemr . . . what I want to know is this . . . If this whole business does have to get started . . . well . . . can I just go to the doctor and ask them to just stop it for me for a while? I mean…you know…I REALLY don’t want to do this . . . and I don’t need to have kids yet.”