Credit: Courtesy of Elia Garcia
Elia Garcia, a student in the Montebello Unified School District, and her son Abraham

Many pregnant teenagers in the Central Valley are highly motivated to graduate from high school and continue their education, but some schools make the task more difficult – and violate federal law–- by funneling expectant and parenting students into alternative schools and denying them access to college-track classes, according to a report released Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California.

The report takes aim at the stereotype of the pregnant teen who loses interest in school and drops out. Instead, the report said, schools often place barriers in the way of pregnant teenagers by penalizing them for missing classes for pregnancy-related medical reasons, shaming them for being pregnant and failing to provide breast-feeding and other accommodations called for under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

“Pregnant and parenting students have a right to a quality education,” said Angélica Salceda, a lead author of the report. “They want to thrive and they will thrive if they’re provided the support the law requires.”

“We’re actually trying our best to get a good education,” said Elia Garcia, a teen mother and high school student in the Montebello Unified School District.

While teen birth rates have fallen in California, rates in the Central Valley are among the highest in the state. The report examined policies in 22 districts in Fresno, Madera and Tulare counties. Only one-third of the districts had programs to support pregnant and parenting teenagers, the report found.

Teen-parent-graphic-ACLU

Credit: Graphic by the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California

Credit: Graphic by the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California

Because California schools are not required to collect data on pregnant and parenting students, the report acknowledged the difficulty in assessing how well districts are meeting the needs of the students. The authors drew some of their findings by surveying nearly 200 Central Valley teen parents about whether they had received legally required accommodations for doctor’s appointments and assignment make-ups. In addition, teen parents were asked if they had been told they had the right to remain in the same school and attend the same classes and activities as their non-pregnant peers.

Although the report focused on the Central Valley, the authors said that pregnant and parenting students across the state often face the same obstacles at school.  

Elia Garcia, a student at Bell Garden High School in the Montebello Unified School District, said that when she became pregnant as a sophomore, she had no idea that the law gave her the right to continue her current academic program. Instead, she said she was informed that she had to leave the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program, created by a San Diego-based nonprofit organization to prepare students for college.

“When I told my counselor I was pregnant, she said ‘You can no longer be in AVID,'” Garcia said. “She said it was going to be a big responsibility for me to be a parent.”

She left that program, but Garcia, who is the mother of a year-old son, Abraham, said she has received academic and social support from the Justice for Young Families Initiative, a program of the Los Angeles-based advocacy group California Latinas for Reproductive Justice. She is on track to attend a community college and plans to transfer to a four-year college.

“A lot of people see us as, oh, well they’re not going to go to college, they’re just going to get welfare,” Garcia said. “We’re actually trying our best to get a good education.”

Art Revueltas, deputy superintendent of Montebello Unified, said the district does not exclude pregnant or parenting students from the Advancement Via Individual Determination program and he had no knowledge of conversations Garcia might have had. “That’s not how we do things,” Revueltas said. Montebello was not one of the districts included in the ACLU report.

School supports for pregnant and parenting students, which often include child care, parenting classes and connections to community agencies, were dealt a blow when the state’s new education finance system ended funding for the California School Age Families Education program, or Cal-SAFE. Introduced in 2000, the program was widely regarded as effective, with more than 73 percent of its students graduating from high school, according to a 2010 report to the Legislature.

But the program’s reach weakened over time because of cuts in the state education budget and a 2009 legislative decision that allowed districts to use program funds for other purposes. Now, under the Local Control Funding Formula launched in 2013, districts are free to make their own spending choices, and many have dropped the program, the report said.

The ACLU report urged school districts to fulfill their obligations to pregnant and parenting students by funding California School Age Families Education programs through their Local Control and Accountability Plans, which are three-year planning documents for boosting student achievement that districts update annually.

Christina Martinez, a Sacramento preschool teacher, former teen parent and founder of an advocacy group called #NoTeenShame, said that for her, as for many other teen parents, finding out she was pregnant 18 years ago motivated her to achieve. “I really knew I had to get things together and the first thing I had to do was to graduate,” she said.

The educational system she faced in high school was often harshly critical of pregnant students, she said, and remains so today.

“There are a lot of people I work with who have distaste and disgust for the entire situation,” Martinez said. “I’m trying to advocate for these parents, because I know the long-term effects should they not complete their education.”

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  1. Mp 1 year ago1 year ago

    Wow…just wow.
    It isn’t bad enough we pay for a child’s education when that’s clearly the parents responsibility. Yes mandatory and public education are intolerable but now you people want us to pay extra to support kids who had kids so they can stay in school? Take some responsibility for your choices.You drop the child, you pay for them – 100%

  2. Giovanni Torres 3 years ago3 years ago

    I think this article needs to be better researched and the young lady; Elia Garcia, who is mentioned in the article had other circumstances surounding the reasons for her departure from the AVID program. I have been an AVID instructor here at BGHS for 8 years and have never heard of anything like this. We have had a few young women who have become pregnant and have gone on to complete their studies while remaining … Read More

    I think this article needs to be better researched and the young lady; Elia Garcia, who is mentioned in the article had other circumstances surounding the reasons for her departure from the AVID program. I have been an AVID instructor here at BGHS for 8 years and have never heard of anything like this. We have had a few young women who have become pregnant and have gone on to complete their studies while remaining in the AVID program. We have a wonderful pregnant minor program that has been extremelly instrumental in providing resources and aid in keeping these young women not only in AVID but in pursuit of a college education. I feel a retraction is in order, at least for the section that mentions BGHS because it is obvious that the reporter Jane Meridith Adams stopped her probing with deputy Superintendent, Art Revueltas and pursued no further.

  3. California Nurse 3 years ago3 years ago

    Interesting debate... I point the readers to two ideas: 1. Look at "A Question of Hope" UCSF research about Latina teen pregnancy in California, I suspect the motive for teens becoming pregnant in California's central valley are well described in that research. 2. As I look at trauma-informed adolescent sexual health, having comprehensive factual sex education is a critical piece of a bigger undertaking. Some kids who have higher ACEs scores very well will … Read More

    Interesting debate… I point the readers to two ideas:
    1. Look at “A Question of Hope” UCSF research about Latina teen pregnancy in California, I suspect the motive for teens becoming pregnant in California’s central valley are well described in that research.
    2. As I look at trauma-informed adolescent sexual health, having comprehensive factual sex education is a critical piece of a bigger undertaking. Some kids who have higher ACEs scores very well will make risky, uninformed choices related to sexual decision making with unwanted pregnancy as only one of the many poor outcomes.

  4. Gary Ravani 3 years ago3 years ago

    I am, of course, shocked to find some object to my preference for science and public health based sex education that might prevent early and unplanned pregnancy. Others prefer to wag fingers and spout balderdash and then let the kids get pregnant so that we can abandon them and their children and give pompous lectures on "consequences." One thing I noted early in my studies of US History is that our fore bearers kept very careful … Read More

    I am, of course, shocked to find some object to my preference for science and public health based sex education that might prevent early and unplanned pregnancy. Others prefer to wag fingers and spout balderdash and then let the kids get pregnant so that we can abandon them and their children and give pompous lectures on “consequences.”

    One thing I noted early in my studies of US History is that our fore bearers kept very careful records of family events-marriages–births–deaths–etc., in the family Bible. A close study of dates of marriages and births finds an inordinate number of “premature births,” up to 40%, in the 18th century. Or, another interpretation is that girls were getting pregnant prior to their wedding.

    Here’s an except from some academic work on the subject:

    “Kellogg and Mintz assert that during the 17th century in New England, parents had been able to exercise a stricter control, so that “the percentage of women who bore a first child less than eight-and-a-half months after marriage was below 10 percent” (Domestic Revolutions 19). But by the mid-18th-c, however, premarital sex was much more common. Over 40% of married women were giving birth less than 8 1/2 months after marriage (Domestic Revolutions)”

    So, what happened around the middle of the 18th century in New England that caused this “moral downfall?” Many call it the American Revolution. Ideas about “supremacy’,” domestic or divinely ordained at the state level began to change.

    Some of this radical and revolutionary thought has not caught on here with a few folks.

    Prior to this change ideas of child rearing and parental authority were different. See below:

    “In the Puritan view, “the primary task of child rearing was to break down a child’s sinful will and internalize respect for divinely instituted authority through weekly catechisms, repeated admonitions, physical beatings, and intense psychological pressure [e.g., through public exhibition of corpses and threats of castration or abandonment]. ‘Better whipt, than damned, was Cotton Mather’s advice to parents’ (Domestic Revolutions 15).”

    Funny, the idea of abandoning the kids advocated above, when they weren’t being “whipt” and/or castrated, has been advocated in a post here (less the whipping and castrating). So, those ideas, as primitive as they are, remain in the American psyche.

    Another early child behaviorist, John Robinson, a Pilgrim preacher, wrote: “Surely there is in all children a stubbornes and stoutnes of minde arising from naturall pride which must in the first place be broken and beaten down. . . .” (ibid).

    As a classroom teacher when someone is attempting to “break and beat down” others in the classroom, (aka, behave abusively), whether they are children or adults, it is my responsibility under law to remove that threat. And I don’t care if that abusive adult with their abusive abstinence program was sent there by some lamebrain at the district or state level. Unlike Puritans, I don’t believe in “divinely instituted authority,” even if the authority has an administrative credential. Others may disagree.

    But that was then, and this is now. How about the efficacy of “faith based” areas of the country, or not, and impacts on teen pregnancy?

    Here’s some information from the Atlantic: “Among the states, New Mexico had the highest teen pregnancy rate, in 2010, with 80 pregnancies per 1,000 women in the age group, followed by Mississippi, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma.”

    Of these six states five are in the top ten of 50 most religious states based on self-reported church attendance. It appears a strong “faith based’ community doesn’t help much with teen pregnancy.

    According to the Annie Casey Foundation national “report card” on child wellbeing “faith based” doesn’t help kids much either. Of the 50 states Mississippi is #50, New Mexico is #49, Louisiana is # 47, Alabama is # 44, Texas is #43, Arkansas is # 41, and Oklahoma is 39th.

    Needless to say, states with high levels of child poverty (and religiosity) tend to be states with high levels of teen pregnancy. States with lower levels of child poverty (and religiosity) have lower levels of teen pregnancy.

    In the industrialized world the US is near or at the top in religiosity, teen pregnancy, and child poverty. Those countries with the lowest rates of all of above are the usual list of northern European social democracies that tax a lot and take good care of their kids and the parents. They also have reality based sex ed. And they perform well on the vaunted “international tests.”

    I am reminded of the Hogworts Castle caretaker who fondly recalled the “good old days'” when misbehaving students were hung by their thumbs in the basement levels. “Oh, how I miss the screaming,” he asserted. It appears some folks here miss those times too. It’s all about consequences, after all. Unless you’re in the banking and finance sector, that is.

    As I stated, sex education pretty much follows the course of other educational policies in the US. Sex ed is mostly based on faith based principles and is the least effective in the industrialized world. Education policies, in place since the late 90s, have been faith based on principles of the market, competition, and accountability. These haven’t done much to improve the situation. In both cases, since they are faith based, research, evidence, and facts won’t budge opinions. The root causes of teenage pregnancy and low school achievement are obviously closely linked to child wellbeing and poverty. The facts point us to those conclusions. But, of course, facts have a liberal bias.

    Replies

    • Jennifer Bestor 3 years ago3 years ago

      Gary, Although I agree with your conclusions about the need for good birth control information and access, I'm afraid I've seen very different analyses of previous eras. I think it's important not to misuse historical data. An avid genealogist, I transcribed a number of English parish registers dating from 1537 - 1895. They also showed a high percentage of first children born less than nine months after marriage. I then looked at … Read More

      Gary, Although I agree with your conclusions about the need for good birth control information and access, I’m afraid I’ve seen very different analyses of previous eras. I think it’s important not to misuse historical data.

      An avid genealogist, I transcribed a number of English parish registers dating from 1537 – 1895. They also showed a high percentage of first children born less than nine months after marriage. I then looked at the scholarly work done in England about this issue. It pointed to simple economic behavior. Young people worked before marriage, often ‘living out’ as agricultural laborers and apprentices (men) or domestic servants and seamstresses (women). They saved money and purchased household items in anticipation of marriage. Betrothal occurred around 25 (men) and 23 (women). It was a solemn compact (hence the concept of ‘breach of contract’) acknowledged by both families. Once this occurred, sexual contact was permissible, though the couple did not live together. Once the woman became pregnant, however, both would give notice at the next quarter day (they were paid quarterly — about the 24th of March, June, September, and January), and they set up a household together. From that point onward, the woman’s job would be home and children (and poultry and kitchen garden), while the man continued to earn wages.

      Evidence for this reality shows up in the marriage registers, where an unusually high proportion of marriages occurred in October and November (after the largest [post-harvest] payday in September) with a high proportion of firstborn children born rather shortly thereafter.

      The reason for ‘breach of contract’ as a legal issue was that, once a woman was betrothed, it was understood that she might no longer be a virgin. Thus, the guy ‘changing his mind’ wasn’t a matter of small moment to her economic future.

      But I digress.

      • Gary Ravani 3 years ago3 years ago

        Jennifer: I was discussing New England, not England. The Puritans left England because of "religious persecution" and then set up a very closed society that persecuted those who did not totally subscribe to their orthodoxy. And, their child rearing was less than enlightened with capital punishment a possibility for "wayward children." My intent was to establish the linkage in Puritan thought to a number of thoughts expressed here and today about how young women and their children ought … Read More

        Jennifer:

        I was discussing New England, not England.

        The Puritans left England because of “religious persecution” and then set up a very closed society that persecuted those who did not totally subscribe to their orthodoxy.

        And, their child rearing was less than enlightened with capital punishment a possibility for “wayward children.”

        My intent was to establish the linkage in Puritan thought to a number of thoughts expressed here and today about how young women and their children ought to be treated.

        Another intent was to show the hypocrisy involved in the contradictions between Puritan/New England public moral pronouncement and private behavior.

        And then there is the contemporary hypocrisy involved with faith-based abstinence programs and the fact that our most “faith -based states” have some of the worst records when it comes to teenage pregnancy (and divorce, and drug abuse, etc.). Evidence indicates that those belts in the bible-belt must have a quick release mechanism.

        Scientific and public health based sex education, or drug education for that matter, is going to beat out the “just say no” strategies every time. See the nurse who posts here.

        At any rate, I don’t see any conflicts between your comments and mine. Mine were based on sound academic work on New England. I don’t know how you want to weigh that against your personal genealogical interests.

        • Jennifer Bestor 3 years ago3 years ago

          Gary, I understood what region you were discussing. (Note, however, that New England was part of England, settled by Englishmen, governed by England, etc.) My point is that researchers in England, who were not in a hurry to fault extreme religious views, found high proportions of pregnancy-before-marriage during the same periods, but were able to track them to economic behavior. A tell-tale indicator, incidentally, was actual illegitimate births, which only climbed as urbanization … Read More

          Gary,

          I understood what region you were discussing. (Note, however, that New England was part of England, settled by Englishmen, governed by England, etc.) My point is that researchers in England, who were not in a hurry to fault extreme religious views, found high proportions of pregnancy-before-marriage during the same periods, but were able to track them to economic behavior. A tell-tale indicator, incidentally, was actual illegitimate births, which only climbed as urbanization during the Industrial Revolution changed the social compact.

        • FloydThursby1941 3 years ago3 years ago

          Gary, birth control is very effective and readily available. I'm no Puritan. I got birth control for my daughter before she turned 16. I fully support the right of teens to engage in sexual behavior. I don't think anyone is ready to have a child at that age. I believe those who get pregnant do so for attention and out of a sense of rebellion. Some have idiotic parents … Read More

          Gary, birth control is very effective and readily available. I’m no Puritan. I got birth control for my daughter before she turned 16. I fully support the right of teens to engage in sexual behavior. I don’t think anyone is ready to have a child at that age. I believe those who get pregnant do so for attention and out of a sense of rebellion. Some have idiotic parents who stress virginity until marriage but this is very rare now. Even if they do have such parents, they have access to birth control and condoms and can engage in sexual activity which doesn’t lead to pregnancy. There is a human cost to a child born out of wedlock to a young mother. Everyone is always optimistic but 99% of the time they turn out like their parents. It’s a cycle of poverty. If your mom decided to get pregnant before having a degree and marriage she doesn’t prioritize education. Now we want to take money from other programs for an expensive program for pregnant mothers. Why not spend more on education so they don’t get pregnant?

    • Don 3 years ago3 years ago

      No single style of sex education is going to be the best for everyone. Gary is operating on the principle that he should sanction the ones to his liking and prohibit the rest. I wonder if he employed this thinking when it came to historical perspectives in his history classes? Was he the final arbiter of which perspectives were worthy of his students.? I'm not a religious person, but I say this with the … Read More

      No single style of sex education is going to be the best for everyone. Gary is operating on the principle that he should sanction the ones to his liking and prohibit the rest. I wonder if he employed this thinking when it came to historical perspectives in his history classes? Was he the final arbiter of which perspectives were worthy of his students.? I’m not a religious person, but I say this with the utmost respect for those that are: God help those students if Gary’s religious intolerance held sway.

  5. Tom 3 years ago3 years ago

    Underage, unprotected sex can have consequences - that is message that faith-based organizations have been sending. I am no bible thumper, just someone who believes in taking responsibility for your actions. Our schools, and our State for that matter, are completely broke and we cannot continue to accommodate people who make bad choices. These young mothers have parents, relatives, and private organizations to help them and their off-spring so leave it … Read More

    Underage, unprotected sex can have consequences – that is message that faith-based organizations have been sending. I am no bible thumper, just someone who believes in taking responsibility for your actions. Our schools, and our State for that matter, are completely broke and we cannot continue to accommodate people who make bad choices. These young mothers have parents, relatives, and private organizations to help them and their off-spring so leave it to them. Also the fathers should step up and be real men. They can make it if they want to – many have done just that without the government handouts. Takes hard work and sacrifice, which would be a good life lesson and add character.

    Replies

    • el 3 years ago3 years ago

      As with algebra or English, the intent of a sex ed curriculum is to give the student lasting knowledge for life, not merely information that is meant to be forgotten after the exam. Abstinence-only is not an effective lifetime strategy, and even if these students marry at 18 they will most likely still need to be in a position to understand and control their own fertility. A child does not deserve to be thought of … Read More

      As with algebra or English, the intent of a sex ed curriculum is to give the student lasting knowledge for life, not merely information that is meant to be forgotten after the exam. Abstinence-only is not an effective lifetime strategy, and even if these students marry at 18 they will most likely still need to be in a position to understand and control their own fertility.

      A child does not deserve to be thought of as a punishment or consequences, regardless of who its parents are or how it came to be born. “Punishing” pregnant teens by shaming them and taking away opportunities tends to have the uncomfortable result of creating more pregnant teens 17 years or so later.

      It may seem silly or overindulgent to have daycare centers near schools available to students… but if you think about it, it’s very likely that staff already need this service also. The community most likely has other parents nearby who would fill up the extra slots.

      And for doctor’s appointments, when the heck will someone create ordinary medical services available for evening appointments? Being an ordinary working pregnant woman and having to miss a half day of work for a five minute wellness appointment was extremely annoying. The orthodontist in our town has a sign that always makes me angry if I go into his office: “Please understand that most of our appointments are during school hours and your child will have to miss school as part of treatment.” How is that looking out for kids, and is straight teeth really worth all that lost classroom time?

      But I digress. The point is, the whole community needs and can use those services, and if this is the catalyst, so be it.

  6. Kayla 3 years ago3 years ago

    As a staff member for AVID – one of the nonprofits mentioned in this article. I can tell you that no where in our training or our curriculum, does it ever say that students who become pregnant can no longer be a part of the AVID program.

    Replies

    • Jane Meredith Adams 3 years ago3 years ago

      Understood. In talking to the student, I knew that she was not talking about an official policy of excluding students from the AVID program. She was speaking only of her experience with a high school counselor. The district deputy superintendent reiterated that there is no policy of excluding pregnant students from AVID or any other college preparatory program.

  7. Gary Ravani 3 years ago3 years ago

    The "educational" problem here is pretty much that same as others: almost total commitment to strategies that fail. The US has some of the flakiest "sex education" programs in the industrialized world. I have observed people coming from "abstinence only" programs come to schools and talk absolute balderdash. In fact, I tossed one from my classroom one time after what I considered a particularly abusive outburst and, if I had not been a union … Read More

    The “educational” problem here is pretty much that same as others: almost total commitment to strategies that fail. The US has some of the flakiest “sex education” programs in the industrialized world.

    I have observed people coming from “abstinence only” programs come to schools and talk absolute balderdash. In fact, I tossed one from my classroom one time after what I considered a particularly abusive outburst and, if I had not been a union official, likely would have suffered some management retaliation.

    What we need is reality based sex education and school based health clinics where students can go to receive services they need. We are too often basing the sex ed curriculum on faith based principles, much like we have based school accountability and other reforms [sic] on faith based principles.

    The fact that none of this works very well slows the faith based folks, both in sex ed and “reforms,'” down not one bit.

    Replies

    • Paul Muench 3 years ago3 years ago

      Yes, it’s painful to watch the simple cost effective strategies that would allow teens to care for themselves and their future children be ignored.

      • Gary Ravani 3 years ago3 years ago

        The even better strategy is to put education programs and health care clinics in place so that there are no children to care for until the parents are fully functioning adults who choose to have children.

        • Paul Muench 3 years ago3 years ago

          Agreed, which is why I put the focus on future children.

    • Kayla 3 years ago3 years ago

      Thank you for your response!

    • Don 3 years ago3 years ago

      Gary didn't like the message from the approved sex ed speaker which he personally considered balderdash and used the excuse of an inappropriate outburst to toss the speaker out of the classroom. He goes on to explain that his position with the union probably saved him from management action as it is obvious an approved sex ed speaker is unlikely to engage in inappropriate behavior and that Gary's action was clearly inappropriate. So the union … Read More

      Gary didn’t like the message from the approved sex ed speaker which he personally considered balderdash and used the excuse of an inappropriate outburst to toss the speaker out of the classroom. He goes on to explain that his position with the union probably saved him from management action as it is obvious an approved sex ed speaker is unlikely to engage in inappropriate behavior and that Gary’s action was clearly inappropriate. So the union prevented the approved sex ed speaker from providing the service for which the school contracted and Gary was given a pass because for his mistake and suffered no consequence. Union stewardship in action!

  8. Don 3 years ago3 years ago

    The ACLU recommendations in the report all require substantial financial support to implement. The much of the social justice agenda is designed to require more funding for projects similar to this. Do we really want schools to spend ed dollars on social programs at the expense of educational programs? Frankly, I think the answer is yes. The community school is good model - creating efficient all-in-one wraparound service centers at schools. But … Read More

    The ACLU recommendations in the report all require substantial financial support to implement. The much of the social justice agenda is designed to require more funding for projects similar to this. Do we really want schools to spend ed dollars on social programs at the expense of educational programs? Frankly, I think the answer is yes. The community school is good model – creating efficient all-in-one wraparound service centers at schools. But this does require a paradigm shift that will require substantial funding increases and union concessions. What I don’t think is socially just is to offer these services on a hodgepodge basis thereby creating more complaints of inequity. To the extent the allegations of school related abuse and infringement upon pregnant women are true, it is a disgrace and schools should be brought into immediate compliance. Now that’s a problem because under LCFF and the new monitoring and complaint procedures, it looks like such commonplace problems will be forced to the courts more often. Everyone wanted Brown’s local control and that’s what they got. The ACLU and other public advocacy firms just got busier. More money for lawyers means even less for schools.

    Replies

    • FloydThursby1941 3 years ago3 years ago

      Just like every child knows they are supposed to do their homework and study and we spend a ton of money trying to help those who don't, the schools spend a lot on sex education and we spend a lot on those who don't follow the rules, often due to parents holding them out of the class. We should require every child to take this class early, even if they have ignorant right wing parents. … Read More

      Just like every child knows they are supposed to do their homework and study and we spend a ton of money trying to help those who don’t, the schools spend a lot on sex education and we spend a lot on those who don’t follow the rules, often due to parents holding them out of the class.

      We should require every child to take this class early, even if they have ignorant right wing parents. However, to stay in school, pregnant girls should be required to name the father. This way they can be tested and if a father is registered, he has wages garnished and has to pay child support. This will also discourage boys form saying they “don’t like” condoms. The garnishments save more than the cost of this. The truth is oftentimes the father is over 18, works at the school, is a family friend or is in a similar abusive position. If it is true teen-teen sex even under 20 then let’s just garnish, I’m not advocating a rigid enforcement, but if the guy is over 21, he should be registered as a sex offender and garnished for life.

      Too many of these girls don’t come clean about who the father is. This costs the government a ton in welfare later. They should not get the benefits of these programs if they can do that. Many will just lie to protect the guy and say it could have been anyone, but studies show over 80% know without a doubt who it is and over 95 would be choosing between two. If they claim to be of the other 5% a lie detector test should be administered.

      It would be better for the children if the parents marry than if the mother stays single and gets a diploma. Marriage of parents statistically is more related to child achievement than mother’s education. Both are important, but we shouldn’t go for one and forget the other. Fathers should be pressured to marry the mother or, if not, at least have their wages garnished. They shouldn’t get away with it as they do now most of the time.

      • Don 3 years ago3 years ago

        Maybe someday you’ll be king and you can decree things as you wish the world to be. But until then, there’s something called reality. Pesky little intervener.

        • FloydThursby1941 3 years ago3 years ago

          We make our own reality. Why wasn't it reality men disappeared in the '50s? You and your generation protesting everything with flowers in your hair, getting tear gassed, saying how liberal it would be if people could divorce whenever they felt like it. You were there Don! I agree Vietnam was wrong and so was racism and homophobia, but you guys missed the boat on drugs and divorce. Divorce hurts … Read More

          We make our own reality. Why wasn’t it reality men disappeared in the ’50s? You and your generation protesting everything with flowers in your hair, getting tear gassed, saying how liberal it would be if people could divorce whenever they felt like it. You were there Don! I agree Vietnam was wrong and so was racism and homophobia, but you guys missed the boat on drugs and divorce. Divorce hurts kids. We shouldn’t be so nonchalant about it.

          • FloydThursby1941 3 years ago3 years ago

            Have you seen the stats that kids raised by 2 parents are over twice as likely to get a Bachelor's, earn more than double as adults, and are less than half as likely to be homeless or go to prison as adults? Encouraging pregnancy is a slippery slope. If you help the pregnant girl but in doing so, cause one other person to have a child out of wedlock and raise them with … Read More

            Have you seen the stats that kids raised by 2 parents are over twice as likely to get a Bachelor’s, earn more than double as adults, and are less than half as likely to be homeless or go to prison as adults? Encouraging pregnancy is a slippery slope. If you help the pregnant girl but in doing so, cause one other person to have a child out of wedlock and raise them with no second parent rather than wait for marriage to have children, you are doing more harm than good. If it doesn’t cause more pregnancy among teens it can be a good thing. However, people respond to incentives. Junior Colleges already have programs. If you take away all stigma from being born out of wedlock, the numbers of studious kids will continue to to decline and the number of criminal kids and disengaged kids will continue to increase. Statistically, this is a nightmare. Part of why Asians do so much better is they almost always have 2 parents in the home, sometimes active grandparents as well. Education is more important than short-term romantic interests.

            • FloydThursby1941 3 years ago3 years ago

              America is really two separate countries divided by education. Four-year college graduates waited until later in their 20s to have children, and were typically married by the time they did; less than one-third gave birth out of wedlock. Women without a bachelor’s degree had children earlier, and were typically unmarried—74 percent gave birth at least once without a husband.

            • Tom 3 years ago3 years ago

              Exactly right Floyd. Thanks for making these points – more people need to hear it and wake up.

            • FloydThursby1941 3 years ago3 years ago

              Thanks Tom. I’m not anti-sex, just be responsible. Birth control is readily available. Having a kid before you’re ready doesn’t help anyone.