One day Kamar Rhoden, 15, of Hartford, was scrolling through Instagram when he received a notification that someone had left him a comment. When Kamar clicked on the comment, he saw that it was mean, and he said he was immediately overwhelmed with sadness. Seeing that someone could say such mean things, he said he became depressed and wanted to change everything about himself. Kamar said he has since been able to overcome his sadness, that may not be the case for other teens. In fact, The Crime Report reported that an article in the Journal of School Violence has found that “Students who experienced bullying or cyberbullying are nearly two times more likely to attempt suicide.” Twenty percent of students, ages 12-18, were bullied during the 2016-2017 school year, TCR reports.
The teen pregnancy rate is at a record low in many states, but especially in Connecticut. Connecticut was ranked 50th in 2015 for teen birth rates, age 15 to 19, reports the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Pregnancy rates for teens have been declining for decades, and have gone down 75 percent from 1991 to 2015. Recently, from 2014 to 2015, the teen pregnancy rate dropped 13 percent. The cause of this sharp decline in teen birth rates could be attributed to a number of things.
While we’ve been engrossed in the Republicans’ umpteenth attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the Trump administration quietly has stopped funding 80-some teenage pregnancy prevention programs around the country, including a highly successful one in Hartford. The Trump administration has cut nearly $214 million in grants. Those grants were awarded under President Obama, and were supposed to have ended in 2020. Recently, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services let grantees know that the funds would end in 2018—two years earlier than promised. The cut was first reported by Reveal, a product of The Center for Investigative Reporting.