Timken High School is a baby factory.
Culture: There is a polite version and impolite version answering this op-ed.
Sixty-five — again, 65 — of Timken High School’s 490 girl students are pregnant. That’s a number confirmed by Principal Kim Redmond, whose staff, in less than a week, will inherit a problem it had no part in causing. Whose fault is it that more than 13 percent of Timken’s girls are with child? Some would say fault-finding isn’t a fruitful exercise, but in this case, it’s critical. Suspects range from movies, TV and video games to lazy parents and lax discipline. Only one thing is sure: Schools don’t impregnate children. “This has gotten to horrible proportions,” said Redmond. “I wish I knew the answer to why it’s happening.” She’s not the only one who should wonder. McKinley High’s numbers aren’t rosy, either, and its culture is just as ripe for trouble. I recall a day there last spring, while waiting for an English class to let out, that a roomful of kids lauded a boy, no more than 16 or 17, for having become a “dad” the night before. A paper on the kid’s desk suggested he might struggle to spell that word. According to the Canton Health Department, through July, 104 of 586 babies born to Canton residents in Aultman Hospital and Mercy Medical Center — the county’s largest hospitals — had mothers between 11 and 19. That’s nearly 18 percent, or three times the total number of babies born at the same hospitals to teen parents living elsewhere in Stark County and beyond. These numbers are not aberrations. The non-Canton rate the year before was 7 percent; Canton’s was 15. In 2003, the non-Canton rate was 7 percent and the city’s 18, and in 2002, the county’s rate was 8.5 percent and the city’s just under 17.
Now the impolite version. DAMN! There is a whole bunch of hoes and holla back girls in this school district with a bunch of baby daddies run around. Their parents must be proud.