Friday, February 25, 2011

Teenage Pregnancies in United States

The New York Correspondent for the Daily Telegraph Jon Swaine reports about “New Directions high school would teach 300 boys and girls”, in line with similar free schools being set up in Britain. I think the new initiative is backed by public funding. The schools for young pregnant teenagers are expected to provide “free childcare” also for their children.

The schools for pregnant American teenagers will be managed by a group of pastors and teachers in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, and it is aimed at developing self-confidence, courage to face life and its challenges, and to develop critical thinking skills as young “baby mothers”.

Teenagers getting pregnant, and eventually deciding to evolve into caring responsible parents, mostly and unfortunately as single mothers, are on the rise as reports and stats from various sources suggest.

Teen pregnancies were looked down upon with a lot of stigma and judgmental attitudes in the past. So, the new school for pregnant teenage American girls wants to address this problem and take care of girls becoming pregnant in school.

According to the school's founders led by Jacquelyn Wideman, "An all-inclusive high school for pregnant and parenting teens will eliminate barriers to completing high school education," the report said.

According to The Daily Telegraph ‘There are 77 pregnancies in a year for every 1,000 teenage girls in New York’, which is seven more than 70 pregnant teenage girls reported for every 1,000 teenage girls for the rest of the United States.

To quote from the report: "New York city rules state that pregnant and parenting pupils must be allowed in schools, and in that sense we believe that they are best served in the existing public schools system."

Interestingly, and sadly, the proposed school is opposing other groups that work with teenage parents in the area, such as the Brooklyn Young Mothers' Collective. As this issue are quite sensitive, needs more responsible handling, and more than ever, it needs greater cooperation with similar groups, individuals and organizations to work together. If that is the real need of the times, why do initiatives like the proposed school oppose the other groups? Any self-interest?

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