"LAND OF HOPES & DREAMS" bruce springsteen
I attended the second principal’s community meeting at Harvey this past Thursday at 5:00 PM. The meeting was attended by 12 residents plus Dr. Hanlon also attended. We were informed at the last meeting that one of the problems seems to be that students were bringing troubles from home to school. Ms. Martin invited Melanie Hale from Lake County Jobs & Services to tell us what these students faced and mentioned many ways her department gets involved. She mentioned that at times family members do not want to discuss events in the home and have a right not to talk to them.
Ms. Martin also brought up the subject of teen birth rates by school district.
We, sorry to say, are number 1 within an eight county area. Our birth rate for females 15 to 17 is the highest of any school system in the eight county region.
Yes, Painesville’s rate is higher than Cleveland, East Cleveland, Akron, Lorain, Ashtabula, Euclid, Elyria, or Ravenna. These statistics are not by births, but by birth rates. Painesville has 315 girls of this age group with 22 having a baby.
Now, do I believe Harvey students are more sexually active than students at any of the above-mentioned schools are? No, but they are having more unprotected sex and using less birth control.
First, let me state that I do not believe this is a school problem but a family problem. One person in attendance mentioned "we are our brothers’ keepers" but this pregnancy rate is disturbing to say the least.
People talked about programs for these young mothers, I personally would rather see more programs dealing with preventing pregnancies. Babies having babies rarely works out for everyone involved.
When I asked Ms. Martin what she believed was the cause of this, she mentioned that many girls just wanted someone to love and to love them back.
We have to enlist everyone in this community to help find a workable solution to this problem. Yes, I know it is getting into the morals of the community but we have to let these young adults know we care about them and we only want success in their lives.
Yes, we will face a possible backlash and challenge some cultural norms but all of us have a stake in resolving this. Continuing to turn a blind eye to this situation just is not acceptable any more.
Ms. Martin mentioned a fact that I found very disturbing. That a survey of 7th grade girls at Heritage revealed that only 17% would always say NO to sexual intercourse.
Only 14% of all students believe the community values them.
What fosters these ideas and how do we change them?
I believe a good start would be more people showing up at these events and the school inviting input from the students.
Please remember that Tuesday October 4,2011 is
"Meet The Candidate Night" for candidates running for Painesville School Board. At Harvey High School.