BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - A recent study revealed alarming levels of sexual activity among Buffalo school students, and those students are getting little guidance from schools about the consequences.
Teens having sex is no secret. But when the Buffalo Public Schools recently asked middle- and high-schoolers to fill out risky behavior surveys, the kids' very candid answers came as a reality check.
More than 6,000 teens said they are sexually active - 20 percent higher than the statewide average. The number who reported having four or more sexual partners was 41 percent greater.
Christopher Spicer of Planned Parenthood of WNY said, "We have very high STD rates in the Buffalo area; there's a lot of sex happening. And there's also not a lot of sex education happening.
Students are really blunt about that, too.
Student Erika Richardson said, "My health teacher, he talked about it just a little bit. He's like, 'Well, I'm supposed to teach abstinence.' He just, like, blew right over it. It was just like, 'Yeah, well, be abstinent. And on to the next topic... diabetes.'"
The survey concluded that lack of information puts students "at risk." Activists say there are two big takeaways from the survey. One, students need more comprehensive sexual education. And two, kids and adults need to get more comfortable talking about this taboo topic.
The goal of district-sponsored forums like the one held Thursday night is to get teens to talk about sex with parents and teachers - instead of just each other.
"It's not taught outside of the school, either," Spicer noted. "So there's a lot of parental responsibility; there's a lot of community responsibility that, I think, we've been missing the boat on."
Kevin Sepulveda and other local college students are also helping to educate teens about such topics as pregnancy, sexual health, and contraceptives.
"Some people don't understand how [different forms of contraceptives are] properly used. We teach them the proper use of, let's say, a condom," he said.
Although this survey was only given to students at Buffalo Public Schools, that does not mean teen sex, pregnancy and STDs aren't issues at suburban and private schools. But for Buffalo, the next step is designing a sex ed policy with input from experts.
An airman from Niagara Falls was away training for the Air Force for months. After being apart from his family, he decided to surprise them at Kelly’s Country Store in Grand Island.
A Buffalo city jail cell block attendant was arrested early Saturday morning on multiple animal cruelty charges.
Family and friends created a memorial for James complete with notes and candles.
Detectives say Brandon Cahee, 28, was found in an upper apartment of a home on Ericson Avenue, and he had been shot.
It's been one month since Typhoon Haiyan barreled through the Philippines, leveling towns and killing nearly 6,000 people.
Rookie Mike Glennon rebounded from one of his worst performances of the season to throw two touchdown passes and lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a 27-6 victory over the struggling Buffalo Bills on Sunday.