Special to the Grove Sun
A class video project that appears to poke fun at pregnant teens has caused a commotion in this Grand Lake community.
The video made by two senior girls at Grove High School was posted for a while on YouTube, but was taken down after a Tulsa television station aired portions of the video.
The video shows the girls wearing shirts that read, “I’m from Grove and I am not pregnant.”
The girls use costumes, props and mannerisms to talk about what they say teen pregnancy means to the average student, a preppy student, an athlete, Hispanics and deaf students.
“I cried the first time I saw this video,” said Bridget Welch, 20, of Grove. “It’s outrageous.”
Welch said the video did not promote awareness but was instead malicious.
Welch, a 2009 graduate of Grove High School , was 17 when her child was born, she said.
“I can’t imagine sitting in class and watching this when I was pregnant,” Welch said.
She said she has regrets about becoming pregnant at 16.
“I often say, I wish I could have had the exact same child — just four or five years later,” Welch said.
Neither the girls who made the video nor their parents could be reached by telephone or email for this story.
“The teenage pregnancy issue is a concern for me,” said Sandy Harper, Grove superintendent.
Harper said she could not comment on how many Grove students are currently pregnant, due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
The federal law also prohibits school officials from commenting about the video, the students, how the project was graded by the assigning teacher or if any disciplinary action resulted from discriminating statements made on the video, she said.
Harper said school officials did not ask the girls to remove the video from the Internet.
Linda Smith, director of the faith-based Abundant Blessing Center in Grove, said about 25 percent of the unmarried mothers served by the center are teens.
“As I understand it, the assignment was to address a problem in Grove,” Smith said about the class project that led to the video.
“I have shed many tears and prayers over the pregnancy problem in Grove,” Smith said.
Delaware County had a birthrate of 71.9 per 1,000 for females between 15 and 19 from 2005 to 2007, the latest data available from the state Department of Health’s Maternal and Child Health Service, Child and Adolescent Health Division. The state is ranked sixth in the nation for its teen birthrate, the agency’s records show.