According to one group tracking the numbers, Frayser has the highest teen pregnancy rate in Memphis. The new campaign, called “No Baby!” is designed to try to get teen girls and boys to prevent pregnancies; at the same time, Memphis City School officials are working on a way to help students more effectively deal with unplanned pregnancies.
The startling news was confirmed by a high ranking city official and comes as the community plans to roll out a new initiative to help combat the problem.
However, one Frayser High School graduate says teen pregnancy is not a new problem for the school.
“When we would come back from summer break, there would be a thousand people pregnant. We were like, what’s going on?” joked Alicia Williamson, who graduated from Frayser in 2004.
“There were a whole lot of bellies. You had to watch out so you didn’t bump into them. Being 2011, I thought a lot of them would have thought this is not the right way to go, having babies during school time,” she added.
The organization, Girls, Inc. teaches girls about preventing pregnancy.
Deborah Hester Harrison, who heads the organization, says Memphis’ teen pregnancy rate stands at between 15 and 20 percent, almost twice the national average.
In the Frayser zip code, the rate is about 26 percent. Harrison partly blames the media.