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WMR
09-02-2005, 10:34 AM
Ohio High School Has 64 Pregnant Students



AP
Monica Selby is one of sixty-four of Timken High School's 490 female students, 13 percent, are pregnant.

CANTON, Ohio (Sept. 1) - High school senior Monica Selby thought she would be busy this year planning for college, not preparing for the birth of her first child.

"I've been crying every day and every night. I keep on blaming myself for this," said the 18-year-old Selby, who is six months pregnant.

She cries about starting classes this week at Timken Senior High School with a bulging belly, about the emotions of planning an adoption, about becoming part of a statistic that has snagged the nation's attention: 64 of Timken's 490 female students - 13 percent - are pregnant.

The statistic at the school in the heart of this old steel city contrasts with a decade of declining teen pregnancy rates nationwide. But teen pregnancy experts say the problem is not exclusive to Timken High.

Experts, parents and students themselves struggle to explain why such pockets of high teen pregnancy rates appear. Are teens getting appropriate sex education? Do they have access to birth control and are they using it consistently? Has the stigma of unwed motherhood lost its edge?

"This might be a school that is forthright with its problems while others are not," said Jay Green, chairman of the Education Reform department at the University of Arkansas. "But this is a widespread issue."

Green wrote a study last year for the conservative New York-based Manhattan Institute for Policy Research that found 20 percent of urban teenagers have been pregnant, compared with 14 percent of suburban teens.

Urban teens as a whole don't use birth control as consistently or often, according to his research, and often have less to lose financially and socially than those in the suburbs.

But Green couldn't say whether those factors applied to Timken. The school of about 1,000 students draws teens from across the neighborhood and economic lines in the state's ninth largest city.


"My mom had a kid when she was in school and now I have a kid."
-18-Year-Old Eric Wilson

Eric Wilson, 18, who works at a hot dog shop a few blocks from the school while making plans to get his GED and caring for his 2-year-old son, said the spotlight on Timken is magnifying an old problem.

"My mom had a kid when she was in school and now I have a kid," he said. "It goes back to how you were raised. Down here, it's not looked too down upon because a lot of parents had kids when they were kids."

Last school year, both high schools in the city's district reported 55 pregnancies. Ninety-nine pregnancies are expected this year, most of them at Timken, where expecting students get six weeks of maternity leave.

"This has gotten to horrible proportions. I wish I knew the answer to why it's happening," principal Kim Redmond told the city's daily newspaper The Repository, which first revealed the pregnancy rate in a column last week. Redmond did not return several messages left by The Associated Press.

Joanne Hinton, whose 16-year-old daughter, Raechel Hinton, is eight months pregnant, said she believes the school's abstinence-based sex education program isn't enough.

"It's time to take the blinders off and realize that these kids are having sex," she said. "Obviously, abstinence is not working. If we have to, just give them condoms."

Abstinence-based programs have been growing nationwide at schools over the past few years. In Ohio, the Bush's administration and the state's health department have awarded $32 million in grants to Ohio agencies for abstinence education since 2001.

Hinton stresses that she doesn't condone teenage sex and that her daughter doesn't fit the mold some may think pregnant teens come from: The Hinton household has two loving parents with a strong relationship who asked the straight-A Raechel "45 times a week if she was having sex, doing drugs, drinking. We were constantly checking on her."

Raechel, who plans to return to the 10th grade at Timken after delivering and completing an adoption, said many students are sexually active and need more information about birth control.

"It can happen to anybody no matter who you are, not just bad girls," she said.

Greg Hawk, a Canton councilman who owns the hot dog shop near Timken, said increased attention on the problem has pushed politicians into plans for a more comprehensive sex education program, one he hopes will include more information about contraception as well as abstinence.

Canton is not alone with an adolescent pregnancy problem, Hawk said before launching into a list of improvements at Timken that make him proud: a new media center, restaurant-like cafeteria and college-level technology courses.

He arched his brow when asked if a day-care center was among the school's amenities.

"No," he said, noting a below-average graduation rate of about 70 percent that he attributed partly to teen births. "But that's a good thought."


09/01/05 15:14 EDT

Red Leader
09-02-2005, 10:40 AM
A couple of thoughts.

That's a downright alarming number of students in one high school, much higher than I would have thought.

There sure is a lot of discussion about hot dogs in that article.

savafan
09-02-2005, 10:51 AM
http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=39710

pahster
09-02-2005, 11:02 AM
There were 32 people in my graduating class (I'm a junior in college now). 18 were girls. 8 of them (44%) Got pregnant sometime during high school or within 6 months of graduation. This isn't even counting the classes above and below us, who had higher rates. We were a "good" class.

REDREAD
09-02-2005, 11:06 AM
I wonder if the high pregnancy rates are because this high school offers maternity leave and that there's less of a stigma. Maybe less of the high school students have abortions, which drives up the pregnancy rate. Just a guess, not passing any judgements or trying to divert this to an abortion thread.

Roy Tucker
09-02-2005, 11:13 AM
"This has gotten to horrible proportions. I wish I knew the answer to why it's happening," principal Kim Redmond told the city's daily newspaper The Repository...
Somebody needs to have a little chat with Ms. Redmond about the birds and the bees.

TeamCasey
09-02-2005, 11:47 AM
Somebody needs to have a little chat with Ms. Redmond about the birds and the bees.

:laugh:

LincolnparkRed
09-02-2005, 01:20 PM
I have a friend that teaches science here in Chicago in a predominately Latino high school and she say that it is almost encouraged for girls to get pregnant by their families while still in high school.

Chip R
09-02-2005, 01:25 PM
There were 32 people in my graduating class (I'm a junior in college now). 18 were girls. 8 of them (44%) Got pregnant sometime during high school or within 6 months of graduation. This isn't even counting the classes above and below us, who had higher rates. We were a "good" class.Wow. And I thought my graduating class was small (44). We had about 4-5 girls get pregnant before they graduated in our class.

WVRed
09-02-2005, 01:32 PM
I remember my great-great uncle telling me once that back in his day that if a girl got pregnant during high school, you never heard from her again.

I wish there were daddies who had a shotgun waiting on the porch when little Johnny brought little Susie home for a date.:)

traderumor
09-02-2005, 02:01 PM
I am so glad the principal has such a good handle on this. Yea, just pass out condoms. Maybe she can let couples use the teacher's lounge when they get the urge, too.

I'm sure not gonna shake my head and wag my finger at youth having sex and getting pregnant. They are simply doing what comes natural with no moral restraints presented by the society at large. As long as adults are loose sexually, whether it be parents, entertainers, etc., the youth are going to follow suit. Of course, mom and dad can be the Cleavers and sis might still get pregnant, or Johnny might get his girlfriend pregnant. And I sure don't see the church offering any solutions as we don't walk the talk in this area, either.

But, handing out condoms at a school is doing little more than putting a bandaid on a severed jugular. As long as our culture continues to be driven by sex, expect the majority of teens to continue making sex a part of their relationships.

GAC
09-02-2005, 02:05 PM
I have a friend that teaches science here in Chicago in a predominately Latino high school and she say that it is almost encouraged for girls to get pregnant by their families while still in high school.

I really hope I'm not reading that right. ;)

GAC
09-02-2005, 02:06 PM
I am so glad the principal has such a good handle on this. Yea, just pass out condoms. Maybe she can let couples use the teacher's lounge when they get the urge, too.

I'm sure not gonna shake my head and wag my finger at youth having sex and getting pregnant. They are simply doing what comes natural with no moral restraints presented by the society at large. As long as adults are loose sexually, whether it be parents, entertainers, etc., the youth are going to follow suit. Of course, mom and dad can be the Cleavers and sis might still get pregnant, or Johnny might get his girlfriend pregnant. And I sure don't see the church offering any solutions as we don't walk the talk in this area, either.

But, handing out condoms at a school is doing little more than putting a bandaid on a severed jugular. As long as our culture continues to be driven by sex, expect the majority of teens to continue making sex a part of their relationships.

The "Just Do It" generation is doing it. ;)

savafan
09-02-2005, 02:37 PM
Wow, this thread was good to see just how many people have me on their ignore list.

Just kidding, but this story had already been posted last night.

WMR
09-02-2005, 03:25 PM
Wow, this thread was good to see just how many people have me on their ignore list.

Just kidding, but this story had already been posted last night.

Sava, I think it was the exclamation points in the thread title that got this incarnation of the story such attention.

;) :laugh:

savafan
09-02-2005, 03:33 PM
Sava, I think it was the exclamation points in the thread title that got this incarnation of the story such attention.

;) :laugh:

That's what I was thinking earlier. I will now put !! after every thread title I create from now on. :D