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Rally set for Jan. 14 at Decatur High School to talk teen sex
"Looking to educate her peers about the dangers and consequences of sexual relationships and sexually transmitted diseases, Decatur High School student Shannel Hanft will host her own rally and auction on the subject tomorrow.She hopes the Decatur Gymnasium will be packed with with anyone interested in learning more about STDs and teen pregnancy. It won't be any run-of-the-mill rally. Hanft plans to make it as hip as possible by raffling off CDs, hats, T-shirts, key chains and coupons to Seattle entertainment hot spots and offering fast-food favorites pizza and cola. She advertised the rally by posting hundreds of brightly colored fliers on telephone poles and walls around Decatur High School.Hanft has invited speakers from Planned Parenthood and will make a speech herself. She has titled the rally Until it Happens to You.I think it's a good way to get this out, she said. Until a teen gets an STD, they don't really know what it means to have one. Most don't really care.Sponsored by Decatur's Distributive Education Clubs of America, known as DECA, the school's marketing class, Hanft is also using the rally as a way to show her planning and leadership skills in a state DECA competition.But more than a class project, Hanft says she cares about the subject and thinks teens don't get enough information about STDs and pregnancy. A survey of 80 Decatur students she took in October revealed that information. About 45 percent of them said they didn't have enough information about STDs, she said. And a lot of them think pregnancy is the biggest issue when having sexual relations. You can live through a pregnancy, but there are some STDs you can't live through.DECA teacher Brad Melton said he is looking forward to the rally and realizes the work Hanft put into organizing the event.This is her brainchild, he said. The content of the rally and organizing speakers. It's a great project she's working on. "