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Allow teen mums in school

Carol Martindale

Allow teen mums in school

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Teen mothers should be allowed to finish their education.
Underscoring the importance of education in the lives of young people, the future of anysociety, Nation online readers believe that pregnant school girls should be allowed back in the classroom after they give birth.
They agreed with Executive Director of the Barbados Family Planning George Griffith, who called for the readmittance of teen mothers to school to be regulated by the authorities. He said there is no evidence to suggest that having a teenage mother back in the school would have a negative impact on classmates or the school.
In a Nation Talkback, our Facebook readers gave their views on the issue.
Grazelda Banfield: “Not only should every child be educated, there should be counseling for these young parents (both boys and girls), to help them cope with raising a child at such tender ages. As some say ‘these children hold the future of our nation in their hands’. Let us help them to be the best they could be regardless of their circumstances.”
Lisa Taylor: “I believe that they can let the girls go back to school after having the baby. Let’s look at it this way,  if they at least complete secondary school and leave with at least one certificate it would still be better than leaving school at such a young age with a kid on their hip with no prospects for a bright future. Society is too hypocritcal. By 14 a lot of our grannies had two or three kids, so why cry down young people the way the way they do. I really am upset when I see a little girl pregnant but these things happen and when they do we as the public should help them to help themselves. Let them go back to school and maybe some other girl at school would see how tough it is and change her way of thinking when it comes to sex”.
Jacqueline Shepherd-Elcock: “Everyone deserves a second chance”.
Brownsuggagal Jozi: “I fully agree [with Griffith]. This has already been done in St Vincent and the Grenadines where teenage mothers are allowed to continue their education, although they are not always admitted back to the same school. Regulations are already in place for this. As a teacher I deal with teen mothers on a daily basis. They got pregnant at another school and after delivering their babies are sent to another school to continue their education. It is best that they be sent to another school instead of returning to their old school because they would not have to deal with being ridiculed by their peers at their old school. I believe teen mothers should be given every opportunity to continue because if they are not allowed to do so they may end up in a vicious cycle of having another child with another man in order to support the first child because usually the fathers of these children are not around. Education is important to prevent teenage pregnancy but if the deed has already been done the most we can do is give them every opportunity to excel and make something of themselves”.
Aquarius Rose: “Yes I feel they should go back to school. Mistakes happen and no one can look in to the future so I will be good for them to finish their school life first.”
Rene Holder: “I would really like someone to point out to me what these so called negative impacts are on a school or on the student body of a school if a student was to return to classes after a pregnancy. I have seen for myself during my secondary school years two girls return to school after having children. To me the real question should be “how can the education ministry and the school play a bigger role in helping these girls keep up with their studies?” as the problem really is the girl falling behind in her studies. You would find more times than not it’s the system that fails these young women, very little support is offered from adults in the system. Without support she may end up opting to drop out which is no way a positive move for her or her child’s future”.
Ronnie Murrell: “There is no question about it. Teenage mothers should be allowed back to finish their education. Although the issue becomes a bit ticklish on “where do you let them go to school”. A transfer to a different school may be best so you can protect the “image” or the self-esteem of the young mother. Although Barbados is a small place and it doesn’t take long for word to get around, being around new people tends to ease the situation and allows for positive progress for the student.”
Marcus Skeete: “Yes obviously these young mothers should return to school. It doesn’t mean that because these young ladies have made a mistake in their lives that they should be removed from school instantly. They still have the right to be educated as any other child and for them to be a better person in life education is the key to their success. With education, these girls can help make something of themselves and a better life of their offspring.”
Danielle Brown:  “Make it against the law for any child under 18 to be out of school . No matter the economic / financial or social situation every child should be educated. They are the future of this nation.
Deborah Thompson: “Once the child has expressed an interest in returning to school I would say give them the opportunity. … The time has come for us to revamp our educational system to meet the needs of the changing attitudes to education”,