BRADENTON -- Teen pregnancy and forming a student advisory board were the topics of discussion Friday morning during the Manatee County Schools CEO Roundtable.
Manatee County Health Department’s Sharon Carlson gave a presentation with staggering statistics on teen pregnancy. Although Manatee County’s numbers for teen pregnancy are decreasing, roundtable attendees were concerned about whether the district’s programs help teenagers to make the right decisions.
Attendees wanted to know if school programs now offered are working.
“What we think as adults that’s working may be totally different to students,” Manatee County School Board Chairman Bob Gause said.
Sheriff Brad Steube asked if students were being taught about birth control in conjunction with the message on abstinence.
“Just saying no isn’t working,” Mayor Wayne Poston said.
The group also discussed the impact teen pregnancy has on the community. School Superintendent Tim McGonegal said day care for the child of one teenager costs the district more than $6,000 a year.
In 2008, there were 189 teen pregnancies in Manatee County. For 2010, there were about 125. Manatee County ranks 17th in the state for teen pregnancy.
The teen advisory board discussion was led by Americorps volunteer Tori Bell. Bell researched the best avenues for the school district to establish an advisory board. She found a good example to follow was STAR -- Students Taking Active Roles -- a Sarasota leadership group.
No final decisions were made on how the group will proceed.