Thursday, August 25, 2005

Randy Little Buggers? -- 65 Pregnant at One Ohio School

The initial news story was a local one, over in Ohio, about a high school where 65 of the female students were pregnant. Out of 490. You look around our Montgomery County schools and you see a few, but ... you wonder what this particular school was doing wrong.
CANTON, Ohio -- There are 490 female students at Timken High School, and 65 are pregnant, according to a recent report in the Canton Repository.

The article reported that some would say that movies, TV, videogames, lazy parents and lax discipline may all be to blame.

School officials are not sure what has contributed to so many pregnancies, but in response to them, the school is launching a three-prong educational program to address pregnancy, prevention and parenting.

The newspaper also reported that students will face mounting tensions created by unplanned child-rearing responsibilities, causing students to quit school and plan for a GED. This will make it difficult for the Canton City School District to shake its academic watch designation by the state.

According to the Canton Health Department, statistics through July show that 104 of the 586 babies born to Canton residents in Aultman Hospital and Mercy Medical Center had mothers between 11 and 19.

The newspaper reports that the non-Canton rate was 7 percent. Canton was 15 percent. 65 Girls At Area School Pregnant

The good news is that the school district recognizes the problem and assumes the responsibility for addressing it.

You wonder, do these girls know what happens? Was pregnancy a total surprise to them?

The Great Swarmy time-travels back to last month, when the Canton Repository ran this story:
CLEVELAND (AP) — Some abstinence programs taught in middle schools and high schools in Ohio contain scientific inaccuracies about contraceptives and cite religious belief as fact, according to a researcher who reviewed the material.

Some of the material wrongly suggests that HIV can be transmitted through tears and open-mouth kissing, among other concerns raised in a report by Dr. Scott Frank, director of Case Western Reserve University’s public health program.

"I was surprised at what I found," Frank said. "Sometimes I found myself shaking my head wondering what decade are we living in."

Frank’s 29-page report takes issue with one program that recommends that teens "follow God's plan for purity." Other programs overstate the failure rates of condoms and suggest that birth control pills increase the likelihood of infertility. Case Western researcher criticizes state’s youth abstinence programs

Now, I wouldn't say that these kids don't have lazy parents, or that they don't play too many video games. But I will just underline the correlation between ignorance-based sex education and a whole lot of girls getting pregnant. I mean, there are lazy parents everywhere, and I even heard of a kid in our county who played a lot of video games.

You gotta chuckle at the British perspective, as they gaze over the pond to try to figure us out. The Inquirer seems to love the blame-anything-but-education approach to explaining this phenomenon, and built it into their headline: Videogames to blame for 65 pregnant girls: And definitely not the lack of proper sex education. The Inquirer's little piece ends like this:
The DVD boxes in which movies and videogames come these days are real killers though, eh? You can’t blame San Andreas, that's for sure - one look at the pixilated vertical jogging sessions in which the male doesn't even have the courtesy to strip down will have anyone laughing so hard that you could probably sell the game as a contraceptive.

We don't suppose that, rather than TV and video games corrupting the minds of our innocent youth, teenagers are just randy little buggers. That would be preposterous. Videogames to blame for 65 pregnant girls: And definitely not the lack of proper sex education

Agh -- how can they bring up reality at a time like this?


Blogger andrea said...

"School officials are not sure what has contributed to so many pregnancies"- okay, maybe it is poorly written or maybe the school officials need a comprehensive sex ed program themselves. People who have sex without protection have babies. What was their health ed program like before this happened? Was it "just Say No"- or in a newish country western song- "Girl, remember what your knees are for!" Close your eyes, ignore the truth,don't teach the kids - you will get babies and you will get STDs.


August 25, 2005 1:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alex -- please be careful.

The Holocaust happened for many reasons, not one of them being "extremist Christianity." The Nazis were in fact anti-religious.

And the cause of the Crusades, while possibly counting as "extremist Christianity," is quite different from the current sex ed controversy. The philosophy of the Crusades was that Christians are inherently superior to all other people. Not exactly what CRC is claiming here (although it may feel like it sometimes).

I mention these inaccuracies because they risk undermining the very valid point you are trying to make, which is that the CRC argument is, at its core, hypocritical. Please be careful with your historical analogies!

(This of course brings up another educational controversy -- the quality of history education in our schools! For another time...)


August 25, 2005 6:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well defended, Alex.


August 26, 2005 8:28 AM  

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