Saturday, June 21, 2008

We won't be moving to Gloucester

Here's the confession: Inside Edition was on and I listened to part of it, the part about 17 teenagers making a pact to get pregnant and raise their children together. Since the laptop was running, I googled it to find out that this pregnancy boom really was planned. All the girls went to the same high school in Gloucester, MA and all of them were under 16. Honestly, the line in the clip that caught my interest was when the reporters questioned if movies like Juno and Knocked Up were glamorizing teenage pregnancy. I didn't see Knocked Up, but were these people watching Juno?! I'm pretty sure it did anything but make you want to get pregnant. Yes, the girl was quirky and funny and really had it together...but she gave the baby up for adoption, she didn't keep it!!! The whole point of the movie was that she wasn't ready to be a mother.

These girls in Massachusetts want to have babies. WHY?! According to an 18 year old mother and recent graduate of the school, some of her now pregnant schoolmates used to approach her in the hall and tell her how lucky she was to have a baby. "They're so excited to finally have someone to love them unconditionally." Are you kidding me?! How selfish can you be? Am I being completely insensitive to kids who possibly have no home life, no parents that care, and nothing to do? I don't know, but I do know that I would (and did) think long and hard before I had a kid.

So why might it seem like a good option to have a child while you are still in school? Hmm, maybe it's because the high school they attend provides FREE DAYCARE so the mothers can finish school. Actually, that does sound like a solid plan: have a baby freshman year, get 4 years of free daycare, struggle for one year then boom, the kid is in school and you are set. Why didn't I think of that?! (sorry, I just read an article on sarcasm...I hope all of your right frontal lobes are in tack so you can pick upon it) You could be under 40 by the time your kid leaves the house and free to do whatever you want.

I am just amazed at the thoughts people have on the topic of teenage pregnancy, and the comments that were posted on this article. Some people were chastizing the Catholic community that won't let the school pass out condoms on site. (Again, did you read the story?! These girls WANT to get pregnant, duh!) Others are blaming the school, parents, society, and lack of moral standards. One person did suggest that we give credit where credit was due and let the girls take responsibility for their actions. I'm not sure how they become responsible when they get 6 hours a day off from motherhood, but hey, at least they have to tend to them at night when they are supposed to be doing their homework. (I'm sure the school has some sort of late assignment clause that enables the mothers of night-time waking infants the chance to make up work. Let's call it "the baby spit up on my homework" clause.) Sadly, I just read here that there are only 7 spots in the daycare, 8 girls have applied, and several are on the wait list. I don't imagine the 17 girls thought about that one did they? (I didn't while making my mock plan to go back in time and change my life plan.)

Here's some insight on teenage pregnancy that I haven't heard ever before in the main stream media: (from Phineus) "Until a hundred years ago and still in many parts of the world girls were and are getting married and having children precisely at this age. Our modern ways don't necessarily jive with our needs that are dictated by our inborn time clocks.
Instead of questioning these and other girls, we should be questioning the need of 13 years of school in order to wait on tables and style hair. These are legitimate jobs, and many people are happy doing simple jobs with simple wages. For such work 13 years of schooling doesn't fill any mandate, and they could other-wise be getting on with their lives as our ancestors of recent times."

I'll just leave you with that thought because I have no idea what the point of this post is. I have no opinion on teenage pregnancy and/or how to prevent it. It's another one of those subjects where schools and politicians are being forced to babysit, literally.


~The Pies~ said...

I totally agree! They have no idea what they are getting themselves into. The Poor girls need someone to love and teach them to have self esteem.
Hope all is well with you, bill and the girls!

Monique said...

I am in shock. I was unprepared at 23...I have no idea where anyone can fathom they are ready under the age of...well, 23.

Carianne said...

I saw the article of this pregnancy pact on the news too. Shocked as well, my thoughts mimicked your own. Having a baby is not a means to gain feelings of acceptance among those in your community, which is what was portrayed on the news. It just goes to show that these girls have some growing up to do.

Rachel said...

My friend Trisha is a high school teacher and it is INCREDIBLE how many of her students are pregnant by the end of the year. She talks to them about birth control and abstinence as options and tells all the horror stories of past students who were all set on college and had to drop out b/c of pregnancy. She then has them all stand (which they all want to do) and repeat an oath about how they promise to finish the year without participating in the making of a baby. No use though, tons are preggo or the daddies of babies before the end of the year. Most of the girls just keep going to her school while pregnant but she's heard of one principal at a nearby school who does all he can to help them leave to attend the school specially designed for pregnant girls b/c he says pregnancy spreads like wild fire. Once one girl shows up pregnant they all do. :(

Bridget said...

Wow I just don't really know what to say maybe we should be asking these girls how their parents treat them and see if they don't feel loved and accepted at home so they feel the need to have a baby but then again I don't think they understand what a baby really means.

H said...

Here is an update in case anyone cares:

The mayor of the city is saying there was no such pact, or that maybe the pact to raise the kids together came after the pregnancies. The principal was not at the school board meeting and was not available for comment. Hmmm. Sounds like a cover-up to me. She also could not deny that girls were actually disappointed when their pregnancy tests came back negative, and that they gave high-fives in the halls when they were.

I'm thinking that segregation sucks and they shouldn't have to go to another school, BUT what do we do? Is it really fame and the need for love and attention? Can some of these girls really not understand about safe sex? Is it possible that there are just too many people having sex?! Sheesh.