According to an article in the LaGrange News, parents and students from LaGrange, Ga. public schools will have the opportunity to visit a “teen maze” that presents possible life choices and consequences for a number of scenarios, including using alcohol or drugs, having unprotected sex, and drinking and driving. Parents can preview the maze, located at the Callaway Conference Center at West Georgia Technical College, on October 29. Local public high school students will visit the maze on October 30 and 31.
Throughout the maze, teens play “games” that present possible outcomes of life choices. At each scenario, students draw a random “choice,” such as having sex without protection or drinking and driving. They then progress to another unit, such as STD or pregnancy, to view the consequences, which could include viewing photos of STDs or wearing a pregnancy belly filled with rice. Students who draw the choices that represent good decisions will graduate; students who draw choices representing the wrong choices could face outcomes like childrearing, death, or jail.
Event organizer Troup County Health Department cited high teen STD and pregnancy rates as the motivation for the maze project. According to 2011 District 4 Public Health data, the pregnancy rate for Troup County teens ages 15–17 was 34.8 per 1,000. The birth rate for teens ages 15–19 was 54.1 percent, and the STD rate for teens 15–19 was 44.2 percent per 1,000. Troup County rates far exceeded the state average.
Funding for the collaborative project came from the United Way, the City of LaGrange, the Walmart Distribution Center, and the Junior League. Volunteers from the Walmart Distribution Center and Junior League also worked on the project.