TEEN PREGNANCY: Five-part Series starts this week

TEEN-Pregnancy-012214-logoCHICKASAW COUNTY – Nationwide the number is coming down, but teen pregnancy is still a chronic problem in rural, Northeast Mississippi.

The Chickasaw Journal will embark this week on a five part series of stories looking hard at the factors that influence teen pregnancy, how our community and schools are addressing the issue and talk to people about what happened to them when they found out they were pregnant.

“This newspaper prides itself in bringing the community local news and with this series we have taken a broader topic and focused on how it effects Chickasaw County,” said Lisa Bryant, General Manager of the Chickasaw Journal. “Teen pregnancy is a sensitive issue and one we have tried to handle delicately with stories about the people involved, but straightforward with facts and interviews from professionals who are on the frontlines of this issue in Chickasaw County.”

The five part series will feature:

• THE FACTS OF LIFE: Today’s stories jump into the broader picture and dig into the numbers. What are the trends in teen pregnancy at the national, state and local level? What are the numbers for our community? What kind of impact does teen pregnancy have on our homes, community, schools and economy?

• MOM AND THE BABY: These stories on Jan. 29 will deal with what a girl faces when she finds out she is pregnant. Who can she talk to? Where can she get help and solid facts about prenatal care? What are her rights? What hurdles do she and her baby face? What resources are out there to overcome those obstacles?

• A FATHER’S ROLE: This series on Feb. 5 will examine a man’s responsibility in fathering a child. What does the law say about paternity? Where can a teenage boy go to learn parenting skills? What does the future hold for the father-to-be?

• FAMILY: These stories on Feb. 12 will talk about the role of grandparents, siblings and community in raising a new baby. What can schools, extended family and local organizations do to help a pregnant teen? What local agencies can be contacted?

• SOLUTIONS: This final series of stories will consider options and solutions to addressing teen pregnancy. What are and what can our schools do? What resources are lacking in Chickasaw County? What programs or services have been effective?

The Chickasaw Journal urges the community to write a Letter to the Editor with their views and possible solutions to teen pregnancy in Chickasaw County.

“Chickasaw Journal reporters Floyd Ingram and Lisa Voyles have put a lot of time and effort into this series,” said Bryant. “We hope it starts a conversation in this community that leads to a reduction in the teen pregnancy rate in Chickasaw County.”

The teen pregnancy series will be published on Page 2 each week.

Additional copies of this complete series can be purchased at the Chickasaw Journal office at 225 East Madison in downtown Houston up to six months after publication.

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