Teen Pregnancy Pact in the News..
I know that this is a little off topic but it was something that caught my eye and had my thoughts all over the place as a parent.
What the hell is wrong with this picture...
I came across this new article the other day and I thought to myself.. what the hell is wrong with this girls? Here I am thinking that every school in the public school teaches sex and and offers education in birth control. But in reading the article below I thought to myself where are the parents of thise 17 young ladies who decided to become parents at such an early age. Dont get me wrong I too have a teenage daughter in the public school system and she was made to take a parenting class within the first tow months of starting High School. She was given one of those real life babies to take care of over the weekend. Mind you the assigment counted for half of her grade at the end of the semester. At first she looked at the assignment as a joke but then when her father looked up the information of the "baby" online she began to take it more serious. My daughter had to take her" baby" every where and I did not offer her any help. I told her from the very first moment that being a parent wasnt easy and that her life as she knows it would change for that weekend and it did. Her " baby" woke up every 3-4 hours to eat just like a real infant and cried for attention, to be burped.. changed and rocked back to sleep. She had to keep a journal logging how she felt having her life turned upside down. At one point she cried her eyes out because she hadnt slept more than 3 hours the first night. As the weekend came to an end she grabbed herself together , borrowed and infant seat, brought the "baby" clothes and went aout her daily task as best as she could. Come Monday morning the " baby" was deactivated by the school and she understood what being a parent as such a young age. Even though it was a weekend thing it taught her a lesson she will never forget. Her High School BSSJ has on going classes for teens which is something all school I feel should have even in the Junior High School . Kids today are having sex whether we like it or not. For those parents parents that say " not my child" take off those rosey glasses as see your child for who they are. Stop and Listen to what they have to say. Dont do all the talking and have them zone out on you while you read them the riot act. Today's teens are alot smarter and sneakier than what we give them credit for. I am writing this from experience. I've come to learn that listening to your children both males and females about such important matter makes for one hell of a bond with your child and makes for great communication skills. Below is the article that I am referring too. Again parents talk to your kids and learn to listen before going off the handle..
Pregnancy Boom at Gloucester High
Wednesday, Jun. 18, 2008 By KATHLEEN KINGSBURY Heide Benser / zefa / CorbisArticle
Buzz As summer vacation begins, 17 girls at Gloucester High School are expecting babies--more than four times the number of pregnancies the 1,200-student school had last year. Some adults dismissed the statistic as a blip. Others blamed hit movies like Juno and Knocked Up for glamorizing young unwed mothers. But principal Joseph Sullivan knows at least part of the reason there's been such a spike in teen pregnancies in this Massachusetts fishing town. School officials started looking into the matter as early as October after an unusual number of girls began filing into the school clinic to find out if they were pregnant. By May, several students had returned multiple times to get pregnancy tests, and on hearing the results, "some girls seemed more upset when they weren't pregnant than when they were," Sullivan says. All it took was a few simple questions before nearly half the expecting students, none older than 16, confessed to making a pact to get pregnant and raise their babies together. Then the story got worse. "We found out one of the fathers is a 24-year-old homeless guy," the principal says, shaking his head.
The question of what to do next has divided this fiercely Catholic enclave. Even with national data showing a 3% rise in teen pregnancies in 2006--the first increase in 15 years--Gloucester isn't sure it wants to provide easier access to birth control. In any case, many residents worry that the problem goes much deeper. The past decade has been difficult for this mostly white, mostly blue-collar city (pop. 30,000). In Gloucester, perched on scenic Cape Ann, the economy has always depended on a strong fishing industry. But in recent years, such jobs have all but disappeared overseas, and with them much of the community's wherewithal. "Families are broken," says school superintendent Christopher Farmer. "Many of our young people are growing up directionless."
The girls who made the pregnancy pact--some of whom, according to Sullivan, reacted to the news that they were expecting with high fives and plans for baby showers--declined to be interviewed. So did their parents. But Amanda Ireland, who graduated from Gloucester High on June 8, thinks she knows why these girls wanted to get pregnant. Ireland, 18, gave birth her freshman year and says some of her now pregnant schoolmates regularly approached her in the hall, remarking how lucky she was to have a baby. "They're so excited to finally have someone to love them unconditionally," Ireland says. "I try to explain it's hard to feel loved when an infant is screaming to be fed at 3 a.m."
The high school has done perhaps too good a job of embracing young mothers. Sex-ed classes end freshman year at Gloucester, where teen parents are encouraged to take their children to a free on-site day-care center. Strollers mingle seamlessly in school hallways among cheerleaders and junior ROTC. "We're proud to help the mothers stay in school," says Sue Todd, CEO of Pathways for Children, which runs the day-care center.
But by May, after nurse practitioner Kim Daly had administered some 150 pregnancy tests at Gloucester High's student clinic, she and the clinic's medical director, Dr. Brian Orr, a local pediatrician, began to advocate prescribing contraceptives regardless of parental consent, a practice at about 15 public high schools in Massachusetts. Currently Gloucester teens must travel about 20 miles (30 km) to reach the nearest women's health clinic; younger girls have to get a ride or take the train and walk. But the notion of a school handing out birth control pills has met with hostility. Says Mayor Carolyn Kirk: "Dr. Orr and Ms. Daly have no right to decide this for our children." The pair resigned in protest on May 30.
Gloucester's elected school committee plans to vote later this summer on whether to provide contraceptives. But that won't do much to solve the issue of teens wanting to get pregnant. Says rising junior Kacia Lowe, who is a classmate of the pactmakers': "No one's offered them a better option." And better options may be a tall order in a city so uncertain of its future. --with reporting by Kimberley McLeod/New York