It is time for Imperial County and its residents to get serious about the problem of teen pregnancy.
The state has released its latest teen birth rate averages and Imperial County is among those counties with rates much higher than the state average. For 2009, our county’s birth rate increased even as teen births declined statewide.
This is not a new problem in our county, of course. And it just doesn’t seem to be getting better.
There are many reasons given by people for our high numbers: We are a poor county, there is not much here for kids to do, education levels are low. Those are just excuses.
As we see it there are two main problems at work. The first is a lack of education for young people when it comes to issues like teen pregnancy. The second is parental involvement.
We understand people have varying religious and moral views, but kids need to at least be warned what can happen if they have unprotected sex (or even protected sex), including pregnancy. Ignoring this issue will not make it magically disappear. Burying our heads in the sand has done us no good to this point.
The second issue is clearly the most important and factors into the first. Parents must be involved in the children’s lives; they should know where their kids are, what they are doing and who they are doing it with.
We teach our children to talk and tie their shoes, so why would we not tell them about issues involving sex? Children know not to drink and drive because they are told not to. If children are not told about the dangers of sexual activity, how can we expect them to be informed?
We understand that this is a touchy issue, especially in some families. But we need to make it clear that being pregnant as a teen is not “cool” and it can make the lives of everyone involved that much more difficult.
Talking about this might be tough, but it is necessary.
High teen birth rates in Imperial County.
Parents must get involved and talk with their kids about this issue.
WHAT DO YOU SAY?
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