Gov. Byrant Brings Anti-Teen Pregnancy Message To Mississippi TeensBy Jeffrey Hess | Published 22 Oct 2012 10:01pm |
Governor Phil Bryant is taking his anti-teen pregnancy campaign directly to Mississippi teens. Bryant visited a high-poverty failing high school yesterday, and as MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports, warned students that getting pregnant as a teen could have lifelong consequences.
A class of seniors at Lanier High School in Jackson recite their pledge to graduate to Governor Bryant.
During a tour of the School in Jackson, Governor Bryant warned students that getting pregnant as a teenager could make it hard to graduate, attend college, and find a good job.
"So let us understand that that is a difficult situation that we find ourselves in in Mississippi and we have just got ot change it. And we have got to say we are not going to do that anymore. We are going to reduce the 'baby daddy's'. And when we get older we are going to become respectable fathers and moms. And put families back together again," Bryant said.
Mississippi has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the nation.
Bryant is making reducing the rate of pregnant teens a top goal of his administration.
Lanier is an 'F' graded school and 86-percent of its students live in poverty which study show contributes to teen pregnancy, obesity and other health problems.
Seeing the problems in her own community is pushing Lanier senior Brianna McKinley to pursue a college degree as a nutritionist.
"Because, I feel that it is important to stay healthy and to help the kids that are in the state of getting obese. I feel it is important to help the kids get healthy and active," McKinley said.
Only 65-percent of Lanier students graduate but Myishia Daniels says seeing sick and impoverished friends and relatives drives her to finish school and become a nurse.
"Because I feel like it is important to help younger children and older people as well because I have very sick people in my family and I am willing to help. Because it hurts when you see other people who don't have the medical attention they need and when you know you can make a difference you do anything you can," Daniels said.
Governor Bryant says if Mississippi can improve health outcomes in schools like Lanier it can take successful programs to other parts of the state.
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