Dear Teen Moms at McAlister high school:
We understand that many teen moms haven’t always had a great experience because of how society treats them or views them, but places like McAlister high school who focus on finishing education for teen moms have created a supportive place to change that . McAlister high school has helped out young women who are yearning for their own education but have an infant they must take care of. As students of McAlister, you demonstrate to others that anything is possible and that teen moms aren’t alone. Education is a choice and young women like you demonstrate that you can still get your education while having a child. We chose to write to you because your high school is an example of what Upstanders look like and we look forward to partnering with you.
As you are well aware raising awareness is the toughest thing to do when it comes to having allies for teen pregnancy. Others may think that prevention is the toughest. Birth of the baby ? Discrimination ? Health ? Abortion ? Abandonment ? While all of these things are very important and are tough when it comes to teen pregnancy, one of the toughest is truly raising awareness for those who become pregnant at an early age. What may be the cause of this issue you may ask ? The cause is because people have so many beliefs when it comes to teen pregnancy. Some may come from religious beliefs, when looking at the website, “ Management of Teenage Pregnancy: A Catholic Approach “ written by Paddy Jim Baggot, M.D. He talks about how in the Catholic approach abortion is this “ huge sin “ and illicit to them, but also he talks about how those teenagers who are expecting a baby and / or have a baby already should have waited until marriage, he exclaims, “ Obviously, such a couple should have waited till marriage at a more mature age “ ( Baggot ). I say, why do people have to wait until marriage if they feel ready they should have their own choice in choosing when they want to have a baby and when not to have one, that’s illogical. People all over the world agree with this. Instead of bashing teen mothers for having a baby at a young age, everyone needs to support teenage mothers in anyway possible. We want to educate people about this topic and have them feel empathy towards teen mothers instead of thinking that getting pregnant at 12-19 is a “ bad choice. “
There have been lots of information posted online in the past as a Tactic of Change. One is education and direct service. Posting information online is education because so many people are on the internet and it helps people figure out what they need. It is also direct service because it provides a basic need: information and materials. For example, on DoSomething.org they give 11 fact about teen pregnancy. While looking around a quote stood out to be that states “In 2008, the teen pregnancy rate among African-American and Hispanic teen girls, ages 15 to 19, was over two and a half times higher than the teen pregnancy rate among white teen girls of the same age group.” This stood out to me because race has a great impact on teen pregnancy because not many people have that many resources and sometime no support at home to provide for their child and it is important to see how racism and this challenge go together. A second tactic is the Babysitter Club it provides teen moms with help taking care of their child and for her to get her GED. This is direct service because it removes the obstacle of child care so the mom can receive her academic goals to care for her and her child (“11 Facts About Teen Pregnancy”).
As a school for pregnant teens, we know you understand the issue and the support youth need. In our opinion though, we still need to raise awareness and educate families about teen pregnancy to help and reduce stigma on teen pregnancy. This will give young girls a way to feel comfortable to work out their situation knowing there’s people with them and not against them. This will also help out families understand what their daughter is going through and support her without assuming how she is feeling. Our way to make this happen at our school is to create a workshop/presentation because oakland doesnt have a school for young mothers that we know of. This would be a good way to help raise awrness and educate for the great or good.
Things we could do is:
- Make an Instagram account
- Workshop / Parent Wednesday / Give lessons
- Make a diaper / clothes donation
- Have students at our school wear blue to support teen mothers
- Blue ribbon ( tie on arm )
- Make slides to inform others
- Start a go fund me page to raise money to send the diapers/clothes to LA.
In conclusion, we chose McAlister high school because they show us what true allies should look like and act like when it comes to supporting teen pregnancy. Learning about McAlister high school made us realize that we should have a high school like this in Oakland. But since we can’t make a big change like that yet, we are doing clothes / diaper drive and education student and parents in our school so they can know how to be supportive when it comes to teen mothers.
Cece, Tania, Kalani
“11 Facts About Teen Pregnancy.” DoSomething.org, DoSomething.org, www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-teen-pregnancy.
DoSomeing.org is a website created by young activist in California to help the community, create social change, and just to help volunteer. This site is credible because it’s a .org and all its evidence is cited. This website gives more that just teen pregnancy information it give resources for everything.
“About Teen Pregnancy | CDC.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov/teenpregnancy/about/index.htm.
This article is about teen pregnancy and the racial disparities when it comes to childbirth. Most teen pregnancies come from the Hispanic and the non-Hispanic Black communities. CDC is credible because they are professional doctors who are giving their evidence to the community ad they have way more experience than what I do or my team does. This article strength are showing real numbers and having graphs but being able also analyze the evidence and help us better understand it. Its weaknesses are that the citations for them aren’t organized alphabetically so it seems a little bit less credible. I chose to include this in my research because it seems like the numbers for teen pregnancy are really important and they need to be show to people so they can get better educated on the topic.
Office of Adolescent Health. “Trends in Teen Pregnancy and Childbearing.” HHS.gov, US Department of Health and Human Services, 28 Mar. 2019, www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/adolescent-development/reproductive-health-and-teen-pregnancy/teen-pregnancy-and-childbearing/trends/index.html.
Person. “Teen Moms.” American SPCC, americanspcc.org/teen-moms/.