As the social worker at Wood River High School, I see many aspects of community concern about teen parents. What I want to point out is that not supporting these parents is to perpetuate another generation of teen parenthood. Study after study shows that when teen parents are given the support, education and parenting skills needed to raise healthy babies, the chances of their having another baby, or subsequent children early on, decrease greatly.
Secondly, the young infants whose parents are bonding well to them, providing good nutrition and reading to them at an early age will subsequently become our district's future students. They need parents who are involved community members and are provided modeling and education in strong parenting skills.
The more prepared any child is for school, the less we will be spending on special programs and support services that are required when a child is not prepared. Finally, providing the teen parents and their infants with encouragement, guidance and education will ensure that their children will be significantly less likely to become teen parents themselves.
If we are truly following "no child left behind," does that not also include our parenting teens and their one-day future students and future citizens of our world?