Pregnant Teens and Yearbooks…
I am not sure if you are aware of this but teen pregnancy is at an all time low. Oh yes, the record is held by the generation born between 1972 and 1976 back in 1991 this generation was having children at the rate of 61.8 for every 1000 females. Most multiple births before the age of 18. So why I wonder on every story I read of another pregnant teen the general consensus seems to agree that teens today see having a baby as a rite of passage. Considering the most recent numbers being down by more than half, I should think it’s all the opposite.
Yet, there are still a myriad of stories regarding schools making headlines for attempting and in some cases succeeding in banning visibly pregnant teen photos from appearing in the yearbook. Please note the words visibly pregnant, most everyone jumps in the crucifixion bandwagon and happily glazes over the words visibly pregnant. I can understand the school officials not wanting to send the wrong message that teen pregnancy is no big deal, that it has no consequences and sets a bad example for other students. However, if they take this step with teen mothers to be, then my only question is why, oh why not take the same steps with teen fathers and school bullies? In the case of teen fathers, have we forgotten it takes two to make a child? In the case of bullies, I personally think bullies set a far worse example on their peers; in some cases they scar their victims for life. Yet if we are to open a yearbook at any given point since they became a thing, we will find them filled with pages of teen fathers and school tormentors. Rarely do we find more than one photo of that kid, who lacked social graces or parents that could buy their children the social standing by means of money or popularity by association.
These cases of students being banned from school functions or yearbooks because of their clothes, sexual orientation in some cases, or even because they are visibly pregnant usually get headlines and end in litigation, citing the First Amendment in most of the cases. Yet, I don’t see a story anywhere, where students litigate over far more important matters such as the quality of their education, the extreme shortage of books, the conditions in the classrooms, the lack of well trained teachers among so many others. What is quite clear is that teens as much as school officials care more about appearance than anything else. It’s sad really, but there it is.