Richmond Public Schools is attempting to lower the dropout rate in their schools. Last month the district opened up a child care lab inside Armstrong High School. The center is an on-site daycare program that will serve students and their families. The lab will not only provide parenting skills classes for teens with children, but also provide students with the opportunity to become licensed child care workers.

“With this lab established, more students and parents will be impacted. What you see here is a fresh start for a lot of our students,” Richmond Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Yvonne Brandon said.

Onsite daycare programs aren’t new, but of course with everything in life, there are critics. A high school in Gloucester, Massachusetts came under fire a few years ago recently, not only because of the “pregnancy pact” made my several students, but because of the day care they added on site in 1996. Some blamed the school for aiding in making pregnancy something glamorous.

“Clearly people are saying that it’s possible that the presence of the day care center may encourage teenage pregnancy,” Chris Farmer, superintendent of the Gloucester school system, said. “Since people have raised the question, clearly it would be wise for us to address the question.”

Farmer said he does not believe the Gloucester High girls considered whether the school had day care when they chose to have their babies. He said that public schools have a responsibility to help young mothers complete their education, and that the center has successfully done that for years.

“We expect people to make mistakes, and educators hope that people learn from mistakes,” the superintendent said. “If we as a society think that mistakes made by young people should permanently harm their life chances, than I would worry about that.”

Do you think in school daycares enable teen pregnancy?

  • London

    “The lab will not only provide parenting skills classes for teens with children…”

    Why not offer real sex education courses that teach prevention and birth control options during the school year. Then maybe they wouldn’t have the problem of having so many teen pregnancies a year that they have to build a daycare in the freaking school.

  • Smilez_920

    As some one who went to a high school with a daycare center on the campus and went to other high schools in the district with daycares inside the actual school ; I think it’s needed and helps these teen moms and doesn’t encourage others to get pregnant.

    These young women need to finish high school in order to get some what decent jobs to support their children . Outside daycare is expensive and most teen moms can’t afford it. Me and my friends saw plenty of girls in high school get pregnant . If anything Seeing them take their Baby back and forth to daycare, not be able to join sports teams or hang out after school , having to worry about milk and pampers discouraged us from wanting kids anytime soon ( also encourage us to make sure condoms were used if we ever did anything and that we used birth control for our own back up).

    The same ppl who will complain about the daycare being on campus, are usaully the first to complain about these young hs drop out mothers who will have to get help from the system or live off welfare to support their children. With no h.s. diploma you probably can’t get a minimum wage job now a days.

    We can at least help these girls with the first step ( graduating hs).

  • Smilez_920

    + 1. Offer plan b or ways for these young women to get BC. ( (there are always a few who will slip up but hopefully not as many with these options available ).

  • http://twitter.com/gennatay Gennatay (@gennatay)

    I think it promotes education. Teen pregnancy is and will always be a problem, by having a day care in the school that the mother attends, at least she doesn’t have to drop out of school because of lack of child care.

  • Blue

    How the **** does a daycare center encourage teen pregnancy? Lack of proper sex education & teaching about the consequences of having unprotected sex is kind of the culprit. If you have sex, & you don’t protect yourself …you’ll most likely get pregnancy. No rocket science there. And let’s add peer pressure, the media & lack of parenting at home.

    Things happen & you have to do what you have to do to make the best out of the situation.There’s nothing wrong with having a Daycare center in the school but don’t point the blame there.

  • I got sense!

    They will still be on welfare whether they finish high school or not. Are you that unaware of the current state of affairs in this country? They will need to jobs and welfare just to make ends met. Minimum wage is not enough to live on sweetie.

  • I got sense!

    *two

  • Barbara

    Well, we wouldn’t want a non pregnant teen to think getting knocked up in high school is a bad choice.

  • Smilez_920

    Sweetie !

    Let’s try to read and comprehend before we comment . Of course you can’t just survive off minimum wage, I am we’ll aware of that. What I am saying is that without a high school diploma these mothers will have little to no option to how they can finicially provided for a child. A high school diploma is the basic minimum in this day and age, if you drop out of high school ( unless your a computer wiz, wealthy beyond belief or lucky) you won’t have too many options in your reach .

    And of course they will receive some sort of assistance . The goal is to have them stay in school and progress so they won’t have to completely depend on the state for help and be able to have more options in their future.

    Is that clear enough for you !!!!

  • http://gravatar.com/clnmike Tonton Michel

    This is what you call enabling dysfunction and giving a pass to irresponsible behavior. There is a difference between a safty net and a piggyback ride. The more I read about things like this the less sympathy I have for baby mommas and daddies.

  • victoria

    I agree.

    I dont believe that having daycares in h.s. will encourage teen pregnancy, but I do believe that by providing this ”safety net” that these teens will not learn from their behavior. I also believe our schools are stretched to the limit financially…where are they getting funds for a daycare?

    And for those who want to blame schools for not teaching about the ”consequences about sex.” Let’s be real…teens know where babies come from. Sex Ed simply explain the science of sex and pregnancy. Schools do not teach about the ups and downs of teen relationships, the games people play, the consequences of sleeping with men who have no intentions of sticking around, sexual abuse, the hardships of parenthood, etc. Only parents can provide this.

  • ROCHELLE

    Smilez I can tell you are from the hood becasue you have a f-ed up way of thinking and you attended f-ed up schools. Your opinion is bias and on the side of dsyfuntion. Proceed.

  • Smilez_920

    I attended K -12 in one the best school districts in NY state. So please !!! And before you go left I also attended and graduated college with honors .

    What school did you attended . I’m sure your only one generation out the projects yourself so hush.

    You couldn’t come up with a better rebuttal than me being from ” the hood”. And even if I was living in the hood , so what . As a woman I know how much young women scafice when they get pregnant at a young age . Boys don’t worry about these issues , they don’t have to worry about giving up ther whole future.

  • http://twitter.com/0oIAMSHEo0 IAMSHE (@0oIAMSHEo0)

    If only we could just let Darwinism work…

    Modern civility retards natural selection

  • billy

    more money wasted to support the irresponsible. hopefully these young women make something of themselves and contribute to the government instead of just taking from it.

  • I got sense!

    That’s crystal clear but you are woefully ignorant of reality. The system is set up to keep them on public assistance and as you mentioned unless they come into a large amount of money (and have the responsibility and maturity to utilize these resources properly) they will still be on public assistance. Actually get off the computer and go volunteer with some women who were teen moms. You will see that inorder for them to get off of welfare (comfortably) they will need to make a good living not a decent one because you can still be under the poverty line but not qualify for public assistance. You can also be under the poverty line and only get enough public assistance to stay alive. It is very difficult. The trick is to not get into the position to begin with because it is a downward spiral. Mind you we haven’t even touch on the stress levels and its affects on a teenage mother.

    Your level of comprehension is rudimentary. Get out there and really see whats going on. Simply giving them a place to put the kids so they can finish high school doesn’t mean they will finish and it doesn’t mean they will be more succesful as a result of having that kind of help. Who will watch them while they study? who is going to stay up with them all night when they are sick? How much school will they miss when the kids are sick and cant go to day care? Who is going to watch them while they are in college or at work (during highschool and immediately afterwards)? Think real life not just perfect world. As someone above stated, spending that money on proper education and birth control will definitely reduce teen pregnancy and std rates. That’s a fact. Numerous countries worldwide teach sex education this way and its much more effective than the reactive train of thought that is so prelevant in the U.S.

    Keep trying.

  • victoria

    For some reason my first reply wasnt posted. So here it is again.

    I agree that by placing daycares in h.s. that it is providing teen parents with a piggyback ride. Do I believe it will encourage teen pregnancy? No. Also, schools are already push to the limit financially. Im sure that by providing a daycare this school had to take funds away from other programs.

    For those who ”blame” schools for not teaching about the consequences of sex. Get real. Sex Education teaches teens about the biology of sex and pregnancy. Not the real world adult consequences. Yes, they learn about STD’s and condom use. But it is not the school’s responsibility to provide medical care and birth control. The issues surrounding sex – unwanted pregnancies, absentee fathers, financial respnsibilities, the shame, stress on body, parental hardships, getting a job, etc.- these are not discussed in schools. It’s a parent’s respnosibility to provide this info.

  • Smilez_920

    Can’t contribute if you have to drop out of high school. Maybe in the only one in support of at least having the school district work with other places like the YMCA and the YWCA to help provide daycare for these young women to atleast finish high school.

    We worked with the YWcA across the street from our school (i consider that apart of our campus) They worked with girls who had children and needed to finish high school. Now it wasn’t like the majority of the girls in my high school were pregnant. But I’ve seen more than 1 or 2 baby bellies walking around while I attended . ( which is plenty enough for me).

    It’s clearly an epidemic in Richmond and they need a solution. Not trying to excuse personally responsibilty but its either help now and give these young women a chance to make something of them selves or let them drop out.

  • JN

    They don’t encourage it, they accommodate for it. It is a response to teen pregnancy, not a factor in it. Hopefully thee young ladies can finish high school, and doing so can put them in a better position to get better jobs.

  • kc

    Do umbrellas encourage rain?

    If we want our girls to stay in school, we need to provide services that can support them. We have to be realistic, meeting people where they are.

  • Fox

    As a young woman who had a child at 17, I was surprised by some saying this is enabling the young women. I didn’t have the heart to terminate my pregnancy and wished I had the daycare help these young ladies get. It’s hard enough to be a parent, but imagine being a parent who worries that they may not even be able to complete high school. I think some of you should realize that many teen moms are not the drama filled, hoodrat, bottom feeding, babymaking factories you may imagine. I think it’s a good thing that will help them at least get a diploma.

  • Smilez_920

    I know what’s going on out there

    Again you as we’ll as whoever that was took the minimum wage comment out of context. I was saying that these girls will have a very hard time making any type of advancement in their futures if they don’t have the basics ( a high school diploma ). And I’ve also seen women in college who have had children and finish. Yes it’s hard , but some ppl do push through. ( I’m also aware that if you dot make a certain amount of money you can still be receiving some type of help, I mentioned that in my second comment).

    I also acknowledged up top that schools, need to have better sex Ed and give more students a way to gain access to the controspetive methods they are teaching them about.
    What’s your solution for the ones who already have babies . Let them drop out?

    Yes I am aware of the stresses of a teen mom. But part of having a baby is having to deal with those stressers. No I can’t take all of them out of the mothers hands. But atleast having her stay in school and try to finish is better than saying ” screw it even if we give her day care how will she study, she’s going to fail.” Why not provide the option at least. Just because it can’t be a resources too one teen mom doesn’t mean it can’t be a resource to another .

    And no I don’t live in a perfect world. I live in a world that if we as a community have the resources to help, and at least create another option other than just dropping out, why not provide it.

    ( and side not throwing insults is not how you get a message across. Again you don’t know me, nor my life experience , nor what I have seen or been through. So cut the perfect world crap. Again why not provide the option , some may benefit from it some may not, but why not make it an option .)

  • Smilez_920

    I don’t personally blame the school for all of it. But if the school can provide these resources , or the city or an outside organization like ( Harlem children’s zone, YWCA, YMCA) why not work with the school to utilize them.

    And yes the points you mentioned about what kids ” don’t learn in sex Ed ” need to be added into the sex Ed course.

    I think if it can be done it should, especially in schools where the number of teen pregnancies are rising . But we also need to find more ways to stop the pregnancy before it happens , so we won’t even have to worry about ” daycares in high schools”.

  • Nicole

    Teenagers especially these day are going to have sex! They teach abstinence in school when they should be teaching these girls what types of birth control there are and teaching boys about the importance of using a condom.

    When I was in high school my junior and seniors year girls (black, white, asian…all races) were getting pregnant. Some had abortions, one chose adoption and a few decided to parent. A lot of these girls ended up dropping out. Maybe if they would of had a onsite daycare they would of had a better shot at life after high school.

  • isolde3

    I’m gonna need some of you to stop being so utterly myopic, especially those of you pearl clutching about “enabling dysfunction,” LOL. From an economic standpoint, teen sex is dysfunctional in and of itself, yet there are plenty of parents who “enable and accommodate” this behavior by providing birth control for their daughters. Why? Because young women who are able to delay child bearing until economically stable are way better off than teen mothers (Duh!). So, I dare anyone to suggest that those parents who raised productive, self sufficient adults were in the wrong for “enabling dysfunction” because they may have provided birth control for their daughters in high school. No, really, please do. I need to laugh.

    A little googling would give you some insight into the poverty rate of Armstrong High and surrounding area public high school student bodies (41-72%).

    http://chpn.net/news/2012/10/21/armstrong-has-3rd-highest-suspension-rate-in-the-region_24599/

    A little more googling would inform you that teen pregnancy rates are higher among the poor than the affluent.

    http://www.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Family/Modern-Parenthood/2012/0522/Teenage-pregnancy-High-US-rates-due-to-poverty-not-promiscuity

    I attended a private high school where we had no school mandated sex ed about pregnancy or STD prevention, yet teen mothers were an absolute rarity, and that had more to do with the socio-economic backgrounds of the majority of student body (mostly middle class or better) and the resources provided by their families like birth control pills and abortion services. Funny how when the affluent take measures to accommodate their children and give them every opportunity possible to finish their education and succeed come what may, no one has much to say, but when the state takes measures to do the same for the poor (providing in school day care for teen mothers), then it’s “enabling dysfunction.”

    I can’t with some of y’all’s basic @ss reasoning skills.

    I keep saying that I’m going to read this book called “Promises I Can Keep: Why Poor Women Put Motherhood before Marriage” by these sociologists Maria Kefalas and Kathryn Edin. The book explores teen and young adult out of wedlock pregnancy among inner city women. From what excerpts and quotes I’ve read by the authors, the reason why these girls and young women choose to have children isn’t because they don’t know about where babies come from or how to prevent pregnancy. So, yeah, sex ed is great and all, but it aint no magic panacea.

  • I got sense!

    What insults did I throw? I never said you lived in a perfect world I said THINK real life not just perfect world. I never insulted you. No need to because as you said I don’t know you and honestly don’t need to know you. Knowing you is irrelevant to what I’m typing. Also, you are basing all of this on the ASSUMPTION that I said it was a bad idea to have the daycare option. Show me where I said that! Don’t worry I’ll wait.

    My concern was in the utopia train of thought that will definitely get them from point A to point B. What I am saying is that this particular kind of help is incomplete. They will need SO MUCH MORE than just having someone watch their kids between the hours of 7:30 am – 4 pm and if they are not given a comprehensive aide package (if you will) this will be just like all the other half done attempts like so many government/social programs. Besides that there are millions of young adults who drop out of school everyday who don’t have babies. People will do what they really want to do and find an excuse for what they don’t. Period. There are millions of young mothers who don’t have access to these types of programs and finish high school and college. At the end of the day the babies will suffer the most, at the hands of irresponsible teenagers who didn’t need any help having sex but now want everybody else to help them take care of the children they created.

  • http://twitter.com/gennatay Gennatay (@gennatay)

    There are a lot of assumptions with your “logic” and your statements could be geared towards anyone from age 16-36. My employer offers onsite day care, it was one of the many things I considered when I took this job. And in “real life” there are millions of parents going to school getting a college education and a Masters degree with children. It all depends on how much dedication these girls have to finish their education and gain a career after a teen pregnancy.

    Also, in this information driven society, the education, literature etc is literally at their fingertips. There is only so much a teacher can say …”if you have sex you can get pregnant or catch a STD so you should use birth control.” Teenager know this they just have to make better decisions.

  • I got sense!

    Really?!??!

    We have no control over the weather. These young ladies have control over their bodies.

  • isolde3
  • Kema

    I was also pregnant at 17. I agree that this is a good thing. Not only will they be allowed to finish school. They will also learn valuable life skills. Getting pregnant should mean a lot more responsibility than they are ready for. Why should they also be sentenced to a loss of education.

  • http://gravatar.com/chanela17 chanela17

    how the hell is having sex considered a mistake? people need to teach these kids the consequences of having sex. having sex/getting pregnant at 14 and 15 is NOT a mistake. they chose to lay down like a dummy knowing damn well they wouldn’t be able to take care of and provide for a child at their age.

    call it a bad choice or poor judgment but never a mistake

  • http://gravatar.com/chanela17 chanela17

    they need to drill in these kid’s brains the huge amount of responsibility that comes with a child. this economy is TOO effed up to be getting pregnant in high school. parents can barely take care of the family and here comes their teenager bringing a child into the world.

    if you have no job and you haven’t graduated high school at all, you have no business even having sex. too much going on in this world.

    it is so frustrating that people are so blind to reality. stop playing with sex. it’s not something to play with. AIDS/HIV,Herpes, Gonorrhea, and babies are REAL! and half the things i just listed last your whole life.

    i wish people would stop encouraging teenagers to have sex with silly excuses like “everybody makes mistakes” and “hormones”. nobody mentions being possibly kicked out, losing support from family, and that the job market is absolute shit right now.smh

  • http://gravatar.com/chanela17 chanela17

    how sad. why WOULDN’T they take having a baby so seriously and “slip up?” smh i don’t understand other people. wow!

  • Rue

    I think birth control for teenagers should be subsidized. I’m tired of seeing kids with kids.

  • Kema

    *Raises hand*

    Former teenage pregnant girl that finished HS and went on to college.

    All it takes is support. Yea there are some that abuse the system. There are many others that use it exactly the way it was meant to be used. I didn’t have to pay for college at a public school because I was considered independent since I was a parent. I received full financial aid and also qualified for food stamps. Few years later I was off government assistance because I had graduated and was able to get a pretty good job..

    Education is the best thing we can offer these women.

    Oh… and to those thinking that birth control and the morning after pill is the answer. Try selling that to these girls mothers.

  • Rue

    I hope you realize that your survival as a member of a racial minority in the Western World is due in large part to “modern civility”.
    Or I sincerely hope that you are either joking or being sarcastic.

  • Rue

    Really?
    “Do umbrellas encourage rain?”
    Really?

  • Smilez_920

    @Kema

    As former teen mom do you see this program as a help to teenage mothers or a piggyback ride?

    Again I’m aware that this program is only the first step, but I see it as a ” support” for those who don’t have family who can help pay for a sitter or who can watch the kids while she’s in school. Again support mixed with self drive is really the key to helping these young women progress.

    ( I also know women and girls who finish hs and college after having a baby . Most of them had a strong family support net behind them as well)

  • isolde3

    “What’s your solution for the ones who already have babies? Let them drop out?”

    @Smilez

    They keep dodging that question, don’t they? I guess it’s just easier for them to try to equate 16 yr olds with 36 yr olds and expect to be taken seriously or hem and haw about sex ed, when the term “teenage mother” implies that the damage is already done and all sex ed can do is prevent the next possible mistake, not erase the one already made.

  • http://ladyngo.blogspot.com Lady Ngo

    Lets be real. I doubt anyone who wasn’t planning on having sex (or keeping a baby) is going to have a change of heart because now they have access to childcare for a year or two. Most teens (and adults for that matter) aren’t even thinking about unplanned pregnancy when they do the mattress mambo, so i doubt this is really influencing their decision. If anything, i’d hope that it would influence them to practice safer sex as they can walk down the hallway and see the consequences of going raw/the pullout method.

  • http://twitter.com/0oIAMSHEo0 IAMSHE (@0oIAMSHEo0)

    How so? I believe I’m here as a result of my parent’s hard work and determination and my continued effort not to spit on their perseverance.

    What I meant by the above statement is that so long as you provide safety nets for people who make bad decisions (not necessarily for people who get a horrible draw) then you tacitly agree to their behavior. I disagree with teen pregnancy. My personal thoughts on the matter are in line with said disagreement

  • Wepo1

    Black women believe in the Democratic parties feminist handouts to black women because they think Dems and white feminist care about all women, but even though white women are the majority on welfare I don’t see not one living around black women in black ghettos!

    Black women will never see plot!

  • Ann

    thanks for this

  • http://twitter.com/KiaJD Nakia (@KiaJD)

    100% in support of real, evidence-based sex ed but it’s not helpful to talk about what should’ve been in place after the fact. Yes, schools should be helping inform about sex and pregnancy PREVENTION but that doesn’t really help those who are already in such a situation or end up in it despite their sex ed. Presence of sex ed doesn’t invalidate an individual school’s need for childcare that supports and educates its students.

  • http://twitter.com/KiaJD Nakia (@KiaJD)

    What struck me in this piece is the notion that a daycare “glamorizes” pregnancy. Sorry, it’s been a while since I’ve visited one but I don’t recall a thing that was near glamorous about a day care center. NADA. If anything, it will be a teaching tool… more useful than those fake babies some health classes make kids tote around. Spend a shift in the daycare with a colicky baby and see how glamorous things seem.

  • Mom23Girls

    Everyone keeps saying “birth control”…”abortion”…whatever.

    I got pregnant with my twins while on birth control (Thankfully not in high school) and I don’t believe in abortion. I believe that if God blesses you with a child, then it’s meant to be. The hardships you face only make you stronger. Even as an adult it’s hard to raise a child (children in my position) and go to school. But with support from family, it’s possible. I’m about to finish up my Medical Assisting degree and have maintained a 4.0 GPA for 2 years while caring for 3 children. I do it all for them because I want them to know how important education is and how it’s mandatory in order to acheive a job where you can afford to live.

    I don’t see the problem with having daycares in high schools. I don’t see how it glamorizes teen pregnancy or promotes it in any way. If anything, it should sway other girls from wanting to be in the position of having to deal with stinky diapers and whining and crying. I believe that education is very important for anyone to succeed. Having daycare services provided will give these girls a chance to finish their high school education and go to college and be successful.

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