Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Daycare sends wrong message

Superintendent Lonnie Barber's idea of establishing a daycare center on school property sends the wrong message to parents and their teenage daughters. Is the School District trying to encourage or discourage teenage pregnancies? Allowing a pregnant or recently pregnant teenager to attend regular classes with the added benefit of free, on campus, daycare seems to promote the former.

A teenage mother might wish that she had made other choices in her life. However, she must accept now the consequences of her actions. She must leave behind the life of your average high school student and take on the responsibilities of parenthood.

If the teenage parent were permitted to attend regular classes, it would send the wrong message to other students. Her attendance would signal acceptance of her behavior by the School District, the School Board, teachers and the community at large. Why wouldn't her fellow students assume that similar behavior was acceptable for them?

Most importantly, we should help this teenage mother to accept her new responsibilities as a parent and, concurrently, encourage her to continue her education. This could be done by offering an online program with access to tutors. She could also participate in an after-school GED Program. This would give her the opportunity to complete her secondary education while fulfilling her responsibilities as a parent.

Those who agree that it's time that individuals, of any age, take responsibility for their actions should call the superintendent's office at 578-5000 and let the members of the School Board know your feelings on this issue.

Mary Thiessen

Sun Valley

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