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Teen Moms To Get Their Own School In New York! What Do You Think?

Thu, February 24, 2011 3:54pm EDT by 3 Comments

Courtesy of MTV

Educators are trying to launch a high school for pregnant girls and teenage parents. Good idea? Or supporting a bad trend? VOTE!

In 2012, teen moms and dads in NYC might be getting a school just for them! Educators in Brooklyn want to launch the New Directions Charter HS, a school for teen parents in Bedford-Stuyvesant that would allow more than 300 girls and boys to attend class and watch over their children in a free, on-site day care program. What do you think of this idea? I’m totally torn!

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Back in 2007, a similar attempt at a school was made, but the city abadoned the idea of allowing young parents to be educated in separate high schools. But now, the founders of New Directions say their proposal, which is in the early stages of the chartering process, would help teenage moms and dads have a place that fits their needs.

“A lot of times when they go back to the regular school setting, there’s a lot of stigmatization,” nonprofit consultant Jacquelyn Wideman, who submitted the charter application with the Faith Assemblies of God Church, which would run the school, tells The New York Post. “The goal is for them to perform at the same optimum level as regular high schools.”

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According to the Department of Health, nearly 7,700 girls between the ages of 15 and 19 gave birth in the city in 2009 — predominately in Brooklyn and the Bronx. And although efforts have been made before to keep schools for pregnant girls alive, all have failed due to poor attendance and low grades among students.

“I don’t think that we should be creating schools that segregate young women or men based on their parenting status,” Benita Miller, executive director of Brooklyn Young Mothers Collective, explains. “We don’t need them to graduate as good mothers — we need them to graduate as educated young women who can head to college.”

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But Asenath Andrews, principal of the Catherine Ferguson Academy for pregnant and parenting teens in Detroit, Michigan, stood by the teen mom high school.

“I think they need to exist — but they need to exist with an expectation of excellence, she says,”not just warehousing.” What do YOU think?

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