The SanityPrompt

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Monday, September 05, 2005

The Punch to this Story is Below the Fold

AOL News - Ohio High School Has 64 Pregnant Students:

"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."

That's right, 64 of 490 female students at this high school are pregnant. There are two high schools in the city, which is home to the NFL's Hall of Fame. Together they accounted for 55 pregnancies last year and a whopping 96 this year. And those are the ones we know about. So what's going on? The story doesn't actually mention anything until the very end, but when it comes its a kicker. Right in the gut.

"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.

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