Schools have a unique opportunity to equip students with the information they need to make informed decisions about their futures so they can prevent pregnancy, excel in school, and become successful adults.
What can school leadership do?
- Become familiar with the SC Comprehensive Health Education Act (CHEA) and explore your school’s sexuality education curriculum. The CHEA was enacted in 1988 to ensure that South Carolina students receive an age-appropriate, comprehensive education program that encompasses the skills, attitudes and behaviors that promote wellness, health maintenance, and disease prevention. At least one time during the four years of high school, each student must receive 750 minutes of reproductive health education and pregnancy prevention education.
- Ensure the successful adoption of effective, evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programming. Every SC school district is different and follows its own process to approve health education curriculums/programs. Work with your local school board, Comprehensive Health Education (CHE) Committee, School Improvement Council (SIC), teachers and school administrators to facilitate the selection of an evidence-based program. There are many of these programs that have been rigorously evaluated and shown to be effective; choose one that meets the unique needs of your school and the community.
- Learn how to implement a teen pregnancy prevention program that works. Commit to professional development and provide opportunities for your teachers to participate in the SC Campaign’s facilitator trainings and utilize available technical assistance. Pursue funding to provide the necessary resources to implement a program. Recognize the value of conducting programs during the school day and allow for flexibility in your school’s schedule to maximize an evidence-based program’s impact.
- Engage parents and other caring adults. Remind parents that they are important and keep them informed about the programs being implemented at school. Make it convenient for parents to participate in programs and activities. Help parents become more comfortable by giving them resources on how to talk to their teen.
- Learn about the issue and why it’s important. 43.7% of 9th graders report they have had sex. Of South Carolina teens that are having sex, more than 1 out of 3 did not use a condom the last time they had sex. Teen mothers are less likely to finish high school and more likely to live in poverty and rely on public assistance.
- Emphasize community connections. Every county in South Carolina has community-based, youth serving programs. Know what opportunities are available, share resources and make referrals. Form partnerships with local businesses to show young people the connection between academics and future work opportunities. Providing youth with opportunities for work and education is critical for pregnancy prevention.
Learn how teen pregnancy affects young people in your county