By Geena Martinez
MIDLAND - Kids having kids. It's a growing problem happening right here in Midland and the school district is taking action.
The Centers for Disease Control reported just last month, the teen birth rate for the United States dropped, but in Midland, it's quite the opposite.
"We're very adamant that we need to focus on this challenge," MISD Superintendent Ryder Warren, said.
That challenge is one Dr. Warren didn't realize was such an issue in his school district.
Just before schools let out for the Christmas break, MISD reached 100 students since August, requesting pregnancy services.
And that number is only getting bigger. Dr. Warren said in past years, the district saw about 150 girls take a pregnancy leave during the entire school year.
"I just don't think that's a number we can ignore," Dr. Warren said. "I think we've gotta try and do something about it."
But that can be easier said than done, for many reasons.
"We have many, many kids who either their parents don't feel comfortable talking to them about this or they don't have parents in place, caregivers in place, to give them this message," Dr. Warren said. "When you start talking about sex education, you truly get into a lot of people's beliefs, you get into their faiths."
Right now, the district is working with community members, leaders and district committees to come up with a program that reaches every type of student.
Warren hopes parents will join the district in bringing the message to their kids.
"Whether it's the parent who does this or the school who does this, whatever, let's be proactive about that and get them to change their mind before this happens," he said.
Dr. Warren told NewsWest 9, the number of pregnant girls is mainly seen in high school, but it has trickled down into junior high schools as well.
He said the ultimate goal of the district is to see all of these girls get their diplomas.