Breaking News

Local News

June 2, 2013

Teen birth rates continue to decline

Local schools exploring preventive measures

LOGANSPORT — Indiana has one of the highest teen birth rates in the nation, and Cass County’s is even higher.

But that just might be changing.

The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last month that Indiana’s teen birth rate fell 19 percent from 2007 to 2011, just below the national 20 percent decline. While births to non-Hispanic white teens in Indiana fell 15 percent, births to Hispanic teens fell a drastic 43 percent.

The latest data for Cass County — from years 2004-2010, and according to County Health Rankings — pegs the county’s rate at 48 births per 1,000 girls 15-19 years old, the 23rd highest in the state and well above the state average of 41 per 1,000 for the same years.

But the number has dropped every year since County Health Rankings began tabulating data. In 2010, the reported rate was 58 per 1,000.

Logansport school officials have noticed the same trend this year, too.

“Probably our normal numbers have been 15 to 20, and I know we’re below 10,” said Kathy Rozzi, nurse at Logansport High School, about a month before the school year ended.

And why? Rozzi explained hers and guidance counselor Lisa Andrews’ emphasis on preventive education, and added that it seemed to be working.

“Kids seem more mature in many ways,” Rozzi explained. “Maybe they’re listening to the education.”

Rozzi and Andrews both participate in a countywide task force created early last year to reduce the number of teens giving birth. While the rate has been falling consistently, it’s still far higher than the national rate and tops the state average, something local leaders would like to see change.

One approach they’ll soon be piloting is designed by the Social Health Association of Indiana, whose teen pregnancy prevention program starts in sixth grade.

The curriculum starts then with the basics of teen pregnancy and fetal development, focusing on prevention models and exploring goal setting and responsibility.

By seventh or eighth grade, it progresses to an eight-module “Making a Difference” program. Its theme is “proud and responsible behavior,” according to SHA’s website, and progresses through discussions about messages about sex, its consequences, the effects of self-esteem on decisions and ways to respond to peer pressure and partner pressure, including role-playing refusals and practicing negotiation skills.

Another seventh- or eighth-grade program discusses healthy relationships and how to identify unhealthy ones, particularly ones in which teen dating violence occurs.

For high school, SHA designs school-specific programs related to a variety of issues, including abstinence and contraception, relationships and responsibilities, and sexual harassment and teen dating violence.

“We think education’s a big key,” said Rozzi. “I go in the classroom sometimes for education and I’m always surprised by the things we’ve presented that they don’t know.”

And some of what they do know is misinformation, she added. On top of that, outside influences “almost educate them the wrong way,” Rozzi said.

Count reality TV among the outside influences. Several controversial reality TV shows starring teen mothers, including MTV’s “Teen Mom” and sequel as well as the network’s “16 and Pregnant,” have been widely criticized for glamorizing the life of teenage motherhood.

One survey from the University of Missouri’s Harry S Truman School of Public Affairs indicated the shows do not make teenage motherhood look easy to most teens, but 77 percent say that, instead, the shows help them better understand the challenges of pregnancy and parenting.

However, teens responding to the survey said their parents and friends still exercise the most influence on their decisions about sex.

Sarah Einselen is news

 editor for the Pharos-Tribune.

She can be reached at

or 574-732-5151.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Superintendent of Ind Ed 05 [Duplicate] State Superintendent Glenda Ritz visits Peru, discusses new standards PERU -- State Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz said Tuesday she is comfortable with the quick pace at which new academic standards are moving from concept to classroom. The Indiana Department of Education released a final draft of new

    April 16, 2014 4 Photos

  • NWS-PT041614 Flora Doc1.jpg Flora physician remains after health group's departure FLORA -- The safe at a downtown bank building, once used for protecting cash and valuables, is now stocked with medical supplies. The former bank office on East Main Street became Flora Family Medicine last month after it was made possible for one lo

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • NWS-PT041614 Rob Visher.jpg Nashville musician will play to raise funds for Emmaus A Pioneer Jr.-Sr. High School student's senior project will come to fruition this Saturday with an interactive live music show to benefit a local charity. When Morgan Barger, a senior at Pioneer Jr.-Sr. High School, set out to plan her senior project

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • Police blotter: April 15, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    April 15, 2014

  • Fry sentenced to 55 years, $10K fine Loren Fry, 78, was sentenced today to 55 years in prison and a $10,000 fine after being convicted of murder last month in the 2011 deadly shooting of Dave Schroder, a 76-year-old Logansport man. Three members of Schroder's extended family took the st

    April 15, 2014

  • Lotus Scarf NOT TONED Logan native's scarves on QVC Bobbi Benish loves wearing scarves in stylish knots. Her problem? The knots kept falling out. That's what the Logansport native set out to solve with a modified scarf she developed, called the Easy-Style Lotus Scarf. It's also the latest addition to

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Blood drive to honor Kathy Dingo Kathy Dingo felt strongly about giving back to the Logansport community. And now, the community has a chance to do the same in her honor. A blood drive will be held in Dingo's memory from 3 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 23. The date of the blood drives

    April 15, 2014

  • NWS-PT041514 farmers market 1.jpg Farmers market starting in Flora FLORA -- Carroll County is getting its own farmers market this summer. A pair of volunteers are launching a once-a-month market this summer for produce and artisan vendors that has already generated significant interest among local residents. "We do

    April 15, 2014 4 Photos

  • NWS-PT041514 Pets3.jpg Keeping tabs on the cat population For every one person born, 10 kittens are born. And if you ask Dr. Tess Peavy, a veterinarian who visited Logansport Monday with the Neuter Scooter, that math doesn't work. But with the work Peavy and her assistants did Monday, the math is looking be

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • Chittick farm named Hoosier Homestead FLORA -- Land is in John Chittick's blood. Since his great-grandfather Archibald Chittick moved to Carroll County, one or another of John's ancestors has owned farmland near Cutler. John Chittick looked after the family land for decades before retiri

    April 15, 2014

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge US Supports Ukraine's Efforts to Calm Tensions Suspect in Kansas Shootings Faces Murder Charges Ukraine: Military Recaptures Eastern Airport Raw: Storm Topples RVs Near Miss. Gulf Coast NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse Pistorius Cries During Final Cross-Examination The Boston Marathon Bombing: One Year Later Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement First Women Move to Army Platoon Artillery Jobs Sex Offenders Charged in Serial Killings Police: Woman Stored Dead Babies in Garage OC Serial Murder Suspects May Have More Victims Family: 2 Shot in Head at Kan. Jewish Center Raw: Horse Jumping Inspires 'Bunny Hop' After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida Popular Science Honors Year's Top Inventions ND Oil Boom Attracting Drug Traffickers

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.

Should e-cigarette marketing be regulated like tobacco?

     View Results