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June 15, 2013

Letter to the Editor; teen pregnancy town meeting

Dear Editor,

The June 6 town hall meeting was unusual.

Unusual in the fact there was no representation from our town leaders at all on the topic of teen pregnancy.

My perception of a town hall meeting consisted of the inclusion of the mayor, a doctor or two, school board member or two and a political leader or two in our community.

None of these people (who were personally invited by phone) attended. Can I just say that Pryor and its surrounding communities do have a teen pregnancy problem according to the data we received at the meeting. The data is available to anyone online through Oklahoma State Department of Health.

Don’t be too overwhelmed at those stats, because what it doesn’t report is the number of girls under age 15 who are pregnant in our community. Also, that data is about two years behind due to the reporting.

So whether our community (parents, grandparents, mayor, doctors, teachers, school board members, etc.) want to address the problem or not, it does exist.

What are we not allowing to be taught in our schools to address sexual promiscuity? STDs, HIV, and obviously teen pregnancy, should be a topic addressed beginning in middle school and continued through high school. These kids are having sex! Let them ask questions and allow educators to give them answers without having to be so politically correct all the time.

By the way, parents should be given the opportunity to attend the same kinds of classes so they know how to effectively communicate with their teen (an assistance much-needed not only in Pryor but throughout our nation).

Are we as a community going to help them understand why sexual purity is important to their bodies and future, or just keep the topic swept under the rug?

Lisa Cowan

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