Teen pregnancy has become a huge crisis in Memphis, Tennessee. Specifically Shelby County, where the population is predominantly black and poor.
These days, the city’s Frayser Middle/High School has more teen-aged girls carrying around babies & diapers than books & backpacks.
So far, a reported 90 teens are either pregnant now or have had a baby this school year. A whopping 20% percent of the school’s female population are already in the throes of parenthood.
Sixteen-year-old Terrika Sutton (pictured above) is one of the Frayser students who became pregnant. Sutton, who is now the mother of a 2-month-old daughter, says she was in her fifth month when she found out she was expecting a child.
The teen mom surprised her parents and classmates alike when she broke the news to them about her situation.
Terrika spoke with a Memphis news station regarding the teen pregnancy crisis. Video below:
“They were like, ‘Terrika, I never knew you would get pregnant,’ and I was like well it happened.”
The young mother goes onto say, though, that teen pregnancy is nothing to be proud of and that something should be done:
“It’s a shame that all these girls at Frayser are pregnant, but it ain’t nothing new. They probably planned on what they gonna do to get pregnant. Ain’t no telling. They need a class where they can teach girls before they get pregnant to use protection and stuff and so they don’t try to get pregnant.”
Until now, there has been very little data collected on the number of pregnant students.
Last year, more than 2,100 girls ages 10 to 19 gave birth in Shelby County. Frayser has the highest teen-pregnancy rate in all of Memphis.
An all-out campaign is being launched to deter teen pregnancy at the school…
Educators and researchers have come up with a new campaign that has been designed to help teens prevent pregnancy called “No Baby!”
Memphis City School officials will set the initiative in motion on Jan. 20. The campaign will be run by Girls Inc., an organization that’s been helping girls in Memphis improve their self-esteem for the past several decades.
The “No Baby!” all-out massive effort to stomp out teen pregnancy will hopefully get the message across to teens to say no to having sex and having babies. “No Baby!” will only encourage abstinence and not provide contraceptives but will give teens the proper tools on how to protect themselves should they decide to engage in sexual relations.
The war against teenage pregnancy is also being infused with $250,000 in advertising that will saturate all forms of social media forums such as Twitter and Facebook, as well as using other mediums, such as texts, radio, billboards and television.
The advertising campaign’s rollout will begin with Frayser, but it will expand to include other schools in Memphis where the teen pregnancy problem is rampant. In 10 Memphis zip codes, at least 20 percent of teens have a baby, which is more than double the national average.
My question is… what the hell took them so long? The so-called “campaign” should have been launched when the number hit 10… or how about 5! Apparently these youngsters have no clue about birth control… and sometimes that has to start at home.
It’s a sad situation. Especially in today’s age. It’s almost like were going backwards.
I blame MTV’s “16 & pregnant” show because apparently these girls have been desensitized to the idea of being 16 & pregnant.
(Video spotted @ RashaEnt)