In today’s world, it is not unusual to see pregnant teen girls walking around American high schools. According to Facts on American Teens’ Sexual and Reproductive Health, there are about 750,000 U.S. women, ages 15-19, who become pregnant each year. So, what are the options for these young teen mothers who end up keeping their children?
The options depend on what the high schools offer. Most teen moms stay at their high school until they physically can’t attend anymore. The multiple teen moms at CVHS have three different options.
They can go through a program called Home Hospital; this program allows them to stay at home with teachers from the school district visiting them for five hours a week, though this program is not commonly used. It is mainly designed for those moms who physically cannot attend school.
They can also go on Independent Study; this program allows them to do school work from home and turn it in to their teachers at the end of each specific time period. The program works very well with the students’ time schedules, but it does not allow the students to take college preparatory courses.
The final option is to attend a school designed only for teen parents. There is a school in Hayward called the William P. Burke Academy, which is designed for such purposes. The school allows teen parents to earn their high school diplomas and provides education on how to be a parent. The only problem with this option is that most teen moms don’t want to leave their old high school lives behind. They want to be with their friends and it is very difficult getting used to a new school.
The multiple teen moms at CVHS are now going to face life-changing experiences. However, there is a lot of support for them from their teachers and counselors. Counselor Natalie Mathrole hopes that CVHS students will support the new mothers as much as their teachers and counselors do.
“I just want students to be as supportive and tolerant of students in this situation because they are facing a lot of challenges and it makes it difficult when people are judging or criticizing them,” said Mathrole.