Tuesday, January 18, 2011

90 Students at Frayser are Pregnant

90 Girls Pregnant At Memphis High School.

Over 90 female students at Frayser High, Memphis have had or will have babies this year, and 20% of the total female students at the school are teen mothers. In an interview, 16-year-old mother Terrika Sutton had this to say about the school’s pregnancy epidemic:

“It’s a shame that all these girls at Frayser are pregnant. But it ain’t nothin’ new…. They need a class where they can teach the girls before they get pregnant, use protection and stuff. Don’t try to get pregnant.”

As a Title One school, Frayser receives federal dollars based on the number of students from low-income families who qualify for free or reduced lunch, according to WMC-TV.

Jezebel notes that the Memphis City Schools curriculum offers 9th graders a Family Life Education course, with an “emphasis on abstinence from sexual relations outside of marriage.” But the mentors at Girls Inc. are hoping to supplement that abstinence-based education with an after-school program called “No Baby.” Bitch magazine erroneously reported today that the “No Baby” campaign promotes abstinence-only education. Not so. Dead center on the No Baby website is a big banner that reads, “Get Protection,” with a link to birth control providers in the Memphis area. Yes, the “No Baby” campaign wants teenage girls to know that they can say no to sex, but also that they can – and should – say no to sex without a condom. Its goal is to empower teenage girls to protect themselves not only against pregnancy, but against sexually transmitted diseases as well.

Pregnancy is not a new problem for the school, one Frayser graduate says. "When we would come back from summer break, there would be a thousand people pregnant. We were like, what's going on?" Alicia Williamson told KTUU. Williamson graduated from Frayser in 2004. She added, "There were a whole lot of bellies. You had to watch out so you didn't bump into them. Being 2011, I thought a lot of them would have thought this is not the right way to go, having babies during school time.”

The city of Memphis is also a partner in the initiative, and could offer some support, possibly through the Social Innovation Fund.

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