Welcome to the end of the school year, when everyone from Kindergarten through High School is counting down the days or hours until they’re “Free, free!!!!” If they’re a high school student living in Pflugerville, a little suburb north of Austin, however, they may also be trying to contend with some typical media-caused frenzy over the content of yearbook. The yearbook staff included information gathered from the students about, among other things, drug use, sexual beliefs, and teenage pregnancy. Here’s a report on it:
A couple of the issues with this report. First, putting teenage sex in the same category as heroin is just a tiny, tiny bit over the top. One is a relatively typical and healthy experience of growing up, the other is an illegal, addictive substance. Second, it does not appear from the video that the page on teenage pregnancy made it sounds glamorous at all. I wonder why a page discussing the hardships of teenage pregnancy and parenting is considered a reward of any kind? Third, I wonder how many calls or e-mails the school has actually received? From the report, it just doesn’t sound like many people are complaining – certainly not enough to justify a news report.
This is so often the case, I think, with topics surrounding teenage sex and pregnancy. The media over-reports the controversy, making the angry side sound much more vocal and much larger than they actually are.