From the NYTimes.
Signaling the end of an era, NYC Board of Education this week announced that they will be closing the last four high schools specifically for pregnant teens.
From the article it seems that despite the high amount of spending on pupils in these schools, the curricula are anything but academically rigorous, including lessons on things like quilting.
Benita Miller, an awesome advocate for teen mothers with the Brooklyn Childcare Collective (they even have a doula program!), is highlighted in the piece, quoted as saying, “It is a place that they send young women during their pregnancies, and I can’t think of any sound academic reason that they exist.”
These schools really are left over from an older time, when pregnant teens were forced out of traditional high schools, even sometimes sent away to have their children in secret. Integration into the public school system is important, both to reduce stigma against teen mothers and to give them the best opportunity to actually continue with their education and lives. Also, sending the mothers off to special schools leaves out a crucial part of the equation–the baby’s father. If we want men to share responsibility in these situations, sending the girls away is not the answer. Instead, high schools are beginning to have their own day care centers for teen parents.
My favorite quote from the article?
“Your brain does not die when you become pregnant.”