Governor’s town hall to focus on teen pregnancy

Phil Bryant (AP)

Phil Bryant (AP)

By Michaela Gibson Morris
Daily Journal

TUPELO – Gov. Phil Bryant will be in Tupelo on Tuesday to rally educators, business leaders and the community at large in addressing teen pregnancy.

The community town hall meeting is part of a series of meetings around the state and has been a major point of focus for Bryant, who initiated the Healthy Teens for a Better Mississippi task force.

“We want to bring everyone together,” said Christi Webb, director of the executive director of Family Resource Center of North Mississippi. “We want to talk about what we’re doing and get ideas on what more can be done.”

The town hall meeting in Tupelo will run from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at First Baptist Church fellowship hall; lunch will be provided. It is open to the public and is free.

The meeting is hosted locally by Families First for Mississippi and CREATE Foundation.

The teen birth rate has dropped significantly in both Mississippi and the rest of the nation for the past two decades, but Mississippi continues to have one of the highest rates in the nation with 50.2 births per 1,000 teen girls in 2011 compared to a national rate of 31.3 for the nation.

Along with the governor, speakers include Sen. Sally Doty, Miss Teen Mississippi Alivia Roberts, Jenny Wilburn of Mississippi Public Broadcasting, Sandra Maxell of the Mississippi Economic Council and Nycole Campbell Lewis, state coordinator for Healthy Teens for a Better Mississippi.

michaela.morris@journalinc.com

Town Hall

When: Tuesday, Aug. 20, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where: First Baptist Church fellowship hall, Tupelo

Who: Open to the public, no reservation needed

Cost: Free

  • TWBDB

    I wonder how many teen mothers will be in attendance at this town hall meeting? I would hope at least 1/2 those in attendance would have actually been those who’ve experienced teen pregnancy first hand.

    • 1941641

      DJ web site either rigged or very poorly designed to prevent a commenter from posting a comment!
      Worst I ever came across on the web! Where is the webmaster? Whar’s the webmaster? I don’t see anybody back thar?

  • Thile

    Philbert pushing for reducing teen pregnancies without addressing sex education will make for another ineffective finger-wagging session.

  • DoubleTalk

    While teen pregnancy is a hard life in these times, I wonder what reduction would be accomplished if there wasn’t a multitude of government assistance available to those who do experience this ? Some claim in Mississippi a single mother of 2 can receive $30,000 per year in assistance when taking advantage of housing, utilities, food, medical etc programs. Better than working.

    Sadly, there will always be unwanted pregnancies. I don’t think many need educated on what causes pregnancy. Some may need to be reminded the free ride is about over and the results will be harsh. Government funding promoting any high risk behavior seems to be counterproductive.

    • TWBDB

      I agree. Initiatives intended to provide aid for the children (as the ones you’ve mentioned) shouldn’t be expected to work toward preventing teen pregnancy. Why would they: when it’s assumed a child is already present or on it’s way. Programs designed to build self-esteem and clearly define paths to opportunities beyond the scope of the immediate teen experience in a region would be a better answer.

  • VocalCoach

    I find it interesting how people (Thile) can throw around public sex education when it is parents in the first place that should be taking the proactive step in curbing teen pregnancy. As an educator, it is pathetic to see parents let their kids get away with whatever they feel like and then push the problems off on educators to fix. You want sex education, keep it in the home.

    • Winston Smith

      What exactly is the argument against sex education in school? I agree that parents are the first people that should educate their children about self respect and healthy relationships, but if those parents are absent, or indifferent, it comes down to the school system. And why not teach the kids sex education, it’s only going to help.

  • the_rocket

    The meeting takes place in the First Baptist Church’s fellowship hall. Bet they’re really going to get some new idea’s from that bunch. Anybody want to guess what their solution to the problem is going to be? Pray it away.
    Rev Bryant, quit wasting the taxpayers money on this crap!