Friday, May 24 2013 4:18 PM EDT2013-05-24 20:18:56 GMT
RICHMOND, VA—Candy made out of marijuana has made its way to Virginia. "It looks just like a tootsie roll or a piece of fudge, and if it's out of the wrapper, there would be no way to know," said WayneMore >>
Candy made out of marijuana has made its way to Virginia.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 4:13 PM EDT2013-05-24 20:13:37 GMT
RICHMOND, VA—Neighbors in the Forrest View area say their backroads are turning into speedways. Residents took their concerns to the City's See—Click—Fix website, but are still waiting for answers, soMore >>
Neighbors in the Forrest View area say their backroads are turning into speedways.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 4:10 PM EDT2013-05-24 20:10:23 GMT
RICHMOND, VA—Work is underway to relocate the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia. The center will soon be expanding to nearly three times its current size. It's all part of the museum'sMore >>
Work is underway to relocate the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia.More >>
New York, NY--The pilot program that allows teens to access the contraceptive drug Plan B in 13 New York City schools -- perhaps the first of its kind in the country -- may be eventually implemented citywide.
According to the city's Board of Health, parents can "opt out" of the program, but only 1 to 2 percent has chosen to do so.
"The proof is in the pudding," said health department spokesman Chanel
Caraway. "Overall, this suggests that parents are OK with the service
being available to their children."
Last year, when the plan was implemented, about 4.7 percent of the
12,000 girls enrolled in those schools was given the prescription drug,
according to the Board of Health. Students ranged in age from 14 to 18.
This year, the program was expanded from five to 13 schools, and Caraway
said they intend to continue expanding to eventually cover all of the
city's public schools.
Plan B, also known as the "morning after" pill, works in a similar way
to birth control pills, except it is taken after sex to prevent an
unplanned pregnancy, according to its manufacturer Teva Pharmaceuticals.
The pill should be taken as soon as possible within 72 hours of
unprotected sex or birth control failure.
Plan B should not "affect or terminate" an existing pregnancy, according to the company's advertising.
New York City's pilot program, Connecting Adolescents To Comprehensive
Health or CATCH, is aimed at stemming the teen pregnancy rate, which
causes many girls to leave school.
Teen pregnancy rates dropped 25 percent in the city between 2001 and 2010, according to the Department of Health.
The CATCH program targets selected schools in poorer districts without health centers.
Parents are sent a letter informing them of the availability of
contraception. If they do not check a box telling the school not to
distribute contraceptives to their child, the student may access the
drugs without permission.
"We wait about a month to give parents a chance to read the letter and
opt out," said Caraway. "After that, any student at one of these schools
can get emergency contraception or a pregnancy test if they feel they
may be pregnant or have had unprotected sex."
Students have long had access to condoms in the city schools.
Last year, Department of Health doctors prescribed Plan B to 567
students. Another 580 students received hormonal birth control pills.
This fall, teens will also have access to Depo-Provera, an injectable
form of birth control.
Scyatta A. Wallace, a New York City psychologist and founder and CEO of Janisaw Company,
which specializes in life skills programs for young women, said she has
"mixed feelings" about providing Plan B without explicit parental
She acknowledges that providing contraception does not "encourage" more
sexual activity and that most parents "try hard" to educate their teens
about sexual health and values. But other parents do a poor job talking
to their teens.
"I do think we need to use caution in providing the Plan B pill to teens
who may not fully understand why and how to use it," said Wallace.
She said schools should have a protocol for how the contraceptive drugs
will be distributed and need to provide follow-up to make sure the teen
is "physically OK and to help them make more responsible decision in the
"There really isn't enough comprehensive sexual health education
provided in the schools in general, so it is alarming that they would
offer Plan B in the absence of that," said Wallace.
According to the Board of Health, 7,000 girls under age 17 got pregnant
last year throughout New York City and 90 percent were unplanned. Of
those, 64 percent were aborted. About 2,200 teens became mothers by age