Day by Day

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Maternity Leave for High School Students

There's an article in the Denver Post about a push by high school students to have the school district grant "maternity leave".

Lori Casillas, executive director of the Colorado Organization on Adolescent Pregnancy, Parenting, and PRevention, had this quote, "Schools need to say, 'This is what we do to support your learning.' That's not happening."

The students want four weeks away from school.

I'll ask the question. How is their learning supported... if the student is not in school?

The School District does try. They have a school for pregnant students (the article says girls, but really, I feel pregnant and girls is redundant - pesky four weeks of extra learning might have helped there). That's pretty supportive, I think. Sadly, there's a waiting list.

Kayla Lewis, a Senior, 18 years old, and five months pregnant, pushed for the maternity leave at a recent school board meeting. Wouldn't a month of school be hard to replace for a senior? For those who hated math, four weeks = 20 days. Most school years are 180 days. So, missing a month means missing 1/9th of the year.

By comparison sake, from Health and Biology classes, the human gestation period is coincidentally nine months in duration. So, I ask these new mothers (and many are still children themselves), what effect do you think missing a month of gestation would have upon your baby? Let's say we just skipped the 4th month of gestation. Just didn't do it. What would happen to the baby? I'm sure it wouldn't be quite so healthily developed.

What happens to a child's education when they miss a ninth of their school year? How do you recover from that?

I'm not indifferent to the fact that teen pregnancies will happen. They do. Sadly, too often. However, the school is there to support education, which means, having the student in class. There are other agencies of the government which will support the teen pregnancy.

And remember (except for cases of rape), the pregnancy was a choice. A CHOICE. (The other half of being "Pro-choice", as I like to think...)
Sex = Risk of Pregnancy. Sex = Acceptance of Risk. Therefore, Sex = Living with the choice and decision.


(And I must comment on the newspaper's headline "Birth leave sought for girls"... um, Biology makes that redundant. I'm curious though, if the school board encouraged Paternity leave, too (oh my!), would more of the young men step up to "finish what they started"?)

1 comment:

MissBirdlegs in AL said...

I really despair for the lack of common sense in this world. Seems as if when you think the depths have been reached, someone comes up with a crazier idea - and thinks it's so noble...