Monday, December 15, 2008

They're Having Babies. Are We Helping?

This story was posted at the Washington Post on Sunday and brings up a very good point. In an effort to try and help teenagers who get pregnant, are we actually removing many of the deterrents? What we are creating is a generation of children that are raised by disinterested parties in daycare centers and government schools. These children are taught the morality of those who bear them and raise them.
"There is zero shame," agrees school nurse Runton. One girl walked into a colleague's class last month, announced that she was pregnant and began showing her sonogram around. Another 16-year-old proudly proclaimed that she was "going on maternity leave." The teacher tried to explain that maternity leave is a job benefit that doesn't apply to high school students.
School social worker David Wynne states the obvious: "Whatever we're doing, it's not working." It's hard to say whether other school districts do any better than Alexandria at discouraging teen pregnancy. According to Brown, school sex-ed programs nationwide are a patchwork that includes everything from required HIV/AIDS education to using students as peer counselors to abstinence-only programs. No one really knows what's working where. But at T.C., I know that almost every adult involved in helping our girls seems to be at a loss, especially in the face of the rising birth rate among Hispanics.

Cynthia Quinteros, however, has a theory. "I feel that the community is afraid to talk about all the girls who are getting pregnant," she says. "Once you get pregnant, they do everything for you, but they ought to be doing all they can do to show girls how difficult their lives will be if they have a baby.

The truth is, it's still hard to do it right. It's very very easy to do it wrong. There are many mistakes that can be made in child rearing that cannot be undone, and one of the largest is allowing your child to be raise by someone who doesn't truly live him (or her).

No comments: