High School Day Care Centers Make Me Sad

Posted on Dec 26, 2012 by 8 Comments
High School Day Care Centers Make Me Sad

A high school in a nearby town offers free day care for the students, and apparently this is not unique. Urban school districts have been providing day care for nearly a decade – maybe more.

I realize that it is a problem, but it is just odd to me that it is now available at a high school in a small town. Dang it – those kids obviously have too much free time! Give them more homework! When I was in high school, if you got pregnant, you were out.

In fact, even if you were married (back in those days kids did sometimes get married their senior year) and you got pregnant, you were out. It was just one of those consequences that you had to accept.

Teen pregnancy was not a status symbol, you weren’t glorified on television, and no one made it easier for you, as far as I could tell. There was certainly no free day care, except maybe grandma.

See, I am on the fence with this thing.

One the one hand, I like that the day care centers give girls a chance to finish school despite being a mom. She can run in between classes and nurse her baby, check on him, or handle anything that may need to be handled.

Knowing her baby is being well taken care would certainly give her the ability to concentrate on her Algebra class. For those reasons, I think that the day care centers are a great idea.

But.

Does that send the message that it is o.k. to have sex, to get pregnant when you are still in school? Go ahead and have unprotected sex, when that baby comes along you can bring her to school with you, no problem.

Schools in the United States are overcrowded and financially strapped in many areas. Is it fair to spend money on child care for the students who have had babies with money that could have been used to invest in benefiting other students’ educations?

Some schools in my area have multi-million dollar football stadiums and field houses, day care, and afterschool programs, but not enough English textbooks for every student. That bothers me, a lot.

I am happy that the teen pregnancy rate is down, that the abortion rate is down, and that more kids than ever before are being responsible about their sexual activity by either abstaining or using contraception.

I am not so happy that teen pregnancy is being glorified on television and that schools with groaning budgets are being asked to spend even more of those precious dollars on day care.

If a teen is old enough to have sex, old enough to choose unprotected sex (and yes, they choose it – contraception is easy to get), and old enough to choose to keep her baby, then she is old enough to file for child support and provide her own day care without burdening the school district and taxpayers with the cost.

The United States is turning into a society that puts the needs of a few on the priority list over the needs of the many. It can’t be done successfully. It isn’t right to make the majority suffer for the minority in school or anywhere else.

What are your thoughts?

statistics source: Guttmacher

photo credit: michael_swan via photopin cc



Posted in: Parenting
Marye Audet

Marye Audet is an author, freelance writer, and editor. As a work at home mom she has a unique perspective that encompasses the overwhelming deadlines and commitments of the professional woman as well as the constantly changing needs of a homeschooling mom with a large family. She is the author of one cook book and the creator of Restless Chipotle Media, a network consisting of two food based blogs, a blog for “women of a certain age”, a video site on Youtube, and upcoming blog on kitchen decor, and downloadable eBooks. Marye also is a freelance writer, editor, and book reviewer.

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Comments

  • http://32in32.com/ Pauline Hawkins

    I agree with you on all points. There are so many issues that need to be addressed before teenagers have sex. That’s where our efforts need to be concentrated.

  • http://restlesschipotle.com marye

    It’s tough to figure out isn’t it?

  • NJ Mom

    Free daycare centers for teen moms can be a good thing. If a teen mom cannot complete her high school education because she has to care for her baby, that baby may grow up in poverty because her mom cannot secure a good job. Free daycare centers may give the babies of teen moms a shot at a better life.

  • Britta

    I myself Was A Teen mom who Did not get to finish School, I had absolutely no body who I would ever trust to spend eight hours a day caring for my daughter (and nobody willing to) Had my own place with my Fiance’ And baby’s Father & Had to handle being a young mom while learning how to take care of everything while the man worked for the bills.I wish my school had a program where I could have finished, I would not be struggling to get my G.e.d Testing done.I see the negative..But I also see the Positive outweighing the Negative!!

  • http://restlesschipotle.com marye

    It is definitely a tough thing to take a side on.

  • http://restlesschipotle.com marye

    Yes, but.. playing devils advocate here because I see so many issues on both sides…. is it fair for tax payers to have yet another responsibility? Should my kids go without because I am paying increased taxes so a teen mom can more easily finish school? The money doesn’t just appear. It comes from somewhere – someone pays it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/MichaelJohnSwan Michael Swan

    I took the picture that accompanies this blog post. The young woman in the picture was receiving day care, lessons in good parenting and an opportunity to complete high school at a Catholic centre for young mothers in the suburbs north of Toronto. Young women with children do not need to be shamed, shunned or expelled. They are quite aware of the challenges they face and almost all struggle to think well of themselves. Many are depressed, even suicidal. If they don’t finish high school they remain virtually unemployable and poor the rest of their lives. Their poverty becomes the legacy their children grow up with. The cycle repeats, often many times. If you want to save American taxpayers lifetimes worth of welfare, medicare and prison costs, and save the American economy the opportunity cost of a huge uneducated population that can make no meaningful contribution to the economy, then make sure these young mothers finish high school. Make sure they learn to be good, effective parents. Make sure they go to college. They will then lead more meaningful, richer, more human lives. If all you care about is money, then just calculate the difference between an employed woman raising healthy, happy, successful children versus a young woman lost, unable to contribute to her community and inculcating her children in her own self-loathing. If you care about your community, if you care about human beings, give these young women and their children lives worth living. The blessing you give you will receive many times over.

  • http://www.befreebies.com/ BeFreebies.com

    Michael, very well said. I agree with you wholeheartedly that a young moms’ educations should be a priority. Where I went to high school they had an “alternative” school for people who for various disciplinary or learning disability reasons were not part of the regular population of students. I think it might work best to put these young women into an alternative-type school environment so they can get on-site daycare and the extra educational attention they need to finish school, but also to maybe add a little deterrent to young girls who would otherwise re-think accidental motherhood. To me it would make, “free daycare for all teen parents” sound less like a bonus incentive. Also, as a mom with school-age children myself, I would not really want to send my children to a school where early parenthood seemed condoned and normalized by the offering of on-site daycare.