At Frayser High School in Memphis, Tennessee, ninety students are either pregnant or have had a baby this school year. That’s nearly 11% of their population of 800 students.
Though the local news talks about how nearly 100% of their students is from a low-income family, surely that can’t be the only thing affecting these girls getting pregnant. At least, their school has plans now to launch a campaign to help educate teens in the Frayser community in the hopes of preventing more girls from becoming moms so young.
We hear about teens(or any women actually) who don’t expect to get pregnant: they use protection and are surprised when they find themselves pregnant. But, with the large number of pregnancies at Frayser High School, one would think that the students would learn from others’ experiences. Is there something more behind all these pregnancies?
What about the show “Teen Mom” on MTV? These girls watch teenagers like themselves get to be on television, get tons of attention, and even earn lots of money. Amber Portwood from the show reportedly makes $280,000. That’s more money than the girls from Frayser High School can imagine.
Last year, Lifetime aired the movie “The Pregnancy Pact,” where a group of high school girls planned to get pregnant together. Though it was a work of fiction, it was inspired by what was thought to have happened at a high school. And even fiction stories can inspire ideas in vulnerable young women.
Whatever is going on at Frayser High School, we sincerely hope that when January 20th rolls around, the plans that are announced to help the community are ones that will be effective.