News 12 First at Five, June 13, 2007
Students in Warren County got a special lesson today from Black Entertainment Television (BET).
The network brought in celebrities for a talk about sex and HIV as a part of their national "rap it up" campaign.
"The kids get pretty candid, they get very candid and frank, and let you know they are not as slow as you think they are," BET comedian Joe Clair told us.
Warrenton was chosen as a stop on the BET tour partly because of the county's alarming teen pregnancy rate.
News 12 spoke with several teenage mothers, who are also Warren County students. They say many of their classmates are not getting the message until it is too late.
"Other girls, they want to have babies, they think it is a good thing , but it's not," Bettina Johnson says.
With school out for the summer, forum organizers knew in order to get a crowd, there had to be a draw. That is where R&B artist Sammie came in.
Sammie was one of the featured panelists, which also included health educators. Sammie told News 12 how he deals with the pressures of having sex and being a 20 year old music star.
"Protect yourself to the best of your ability and that's what I did, and I always had that spiritual connection as well, you know what im saying," Sammie told News 12.
BET and the panelists say they realize they aren't going to stop all students from having sex. But their goal is to encourage abstinence and safe sex.
"It's time for you all to be a little more responsible than the generation before you, and BET is trying to pound that message home, as much as they possibly can," Clair says.