A Louisiana school that has received some pretty outraged press in recent days over its unusual pregnancy policy—students who were suspected of being pregnant were forced to take a pregnancy test, and those who refused or were, indeed, with child were kicked out—is changing said policy. Pregnant students will no longer have to be home-schooled, said the chair of the board of the Delhi Charter School, who offered some pretty amazing rationale for why the policy existed: No one thought anything was wrong with it. Read more…
Pregnancy. Something mothers and daughters should experience together or … not so much? We find out all the unique issues of mother/daughter co-pregnancy on TLC’s new show “My Teen Is Pregnant And So Am I” (which I’ve dubbed “Tears at the Sonogram”) that premiered last night.
Things don’t seem to be going so well for Melissa and her teenage daughter Kristen, one of the preggo mother/daughter duos featured on the episode. “Me and my mom don’t really talk about our pregnancies,” says teenage daughter Kirsten. “She’ll talk about hers, but I won’t talk about mine because I know she’s still not over the fact that I am pregnant.” Yeah, that doesn’t sound very fun. If only Bristol Palin had gotten knocked up just a little bit sooner, this could have been the premise of her reality show. And then we wouldn’t have had to sit through episodes of “Life’s A Tripp.”
When it comes to teen pregnancy, Mississippi has the highest rate in the nation. The state has 55 births per 1,000 girls ages 15 to 19 — a whopping 60 percent above the national average, according to the Centers for Disease Control. And it is not too difficult to see the culprit: abstinence-only sex education dominates the state and schools are only allowed to teach, you know, birth control if they got special permission. Keep reading »
Kids these days! They just aren’t getting pregnant like they used to. The birth rate for young women ages 15 to 19 fell to its lowest ever recorded in 2010, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. States with the lowest teen birth rates are in the Northeast with Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and New Hampshire, while the highest are concentrated in the South/Southwest: Texas, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.
It might seem like great news that teen births have been declining over two decades. But the United States still has the highest rate of teen pregnancy in the industrialized world. It’s no surprise that the states “16 & Pregnant” casting agents drool over have the strictest abortion laws and also think abstinence-only sex ed actually works. [NY Times, NY Times (2)]
“I had been on a Nickelodeon show, ‘Zoey 101,’ and after we wrapped shooting, I just wanted to go home to Louisiana and finish high school, be a cheerleader, all that. Then I found out I was pregnant. I was 16. I’d had one boyfriend. It doesn’t make it perfect or all right. But I was judged for something that probably most everyone does … I was like every other teenager, except I had this last name … I believe in safety and birth control as prevention. But like many young girls… I was really scared to go to the doctor. And I was on a Nickelodeon show, and it (felt) especially embarrassing to ask someone to put me on birth control. I didn’t want to ask my doctor.
It’d be dumb to sit here and say that [four-year-old daughter] Maddie isn’t going to like a boy one day and she isn’t going to have a boyfriend. I’ll just have to handle that the best way that I can. Both her daddy and me will caution her (about having sex), and I would hope that she would not want to do that at all, but I have to make sure that I’m realistic too. I’ve got to figure out a way to communicate to her to make smart choices and make the best decisions she can.”
Whoa. Not that there is much competition, but Jamie Lynn Spears is the smartest-sounding member of the Magnificent Performing Spears Family by leaps and bounds. Jamie Lynn talked to Glamour magazine about getting pregnant at 16 and it made me feel empathetic towards her situation. Keep reading »
An Arkansas high school appointed two valedictorians in their Class of 2011, because the student with the highest GPA was black. According to a lawsuit by 18-year-old Kymberly Wimberly (yes, her real name), she was told earlier this year she would be valedictorian of McGehee Secondary School in Pine Bluff, AR, thanks to her nearly-straight A grades, Honors and AP classes. But Wimberly’s mother is an employee at McGehee Secondary School and overheard talk in the copy room that school personnel were concerned that having a black valedictorian would cause “a big mess.” According to Court House News Service, the high school was “predominantly white and 46 percent African-American,” and the implication is that some white families would resent having the black student’s success. So, on graduation day, both Wimberly and a white student, who had the number two GPA at the school, were both honored as valedictorians. The number three-ranking student, also white, then became the salutatorian. When Wimberly’s mother tried to protest the principal’s decision at a school board meeting, she was told she had filled out the wrong forms and was not permitted to speak.
Seriously, people? Keep reading »