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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
















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