Beyond issues of family, school, and friendship is a more serious issue that too many students today are forced to consider: teen pregnancy. Although the number of teen pregnancy cases in the United States has decreased 20 percent from 2014 to 2015, the issue is large enough to touch the students here at Orange High School.
Teen parents have many important considerations to balance in their lives. They have to do their job as students while dealing with the drama that comes with high school, and they must also take on the role of parents, providing for the needs of a new baby.
One student we talked to said that she could manage all of the things that came with having a baby as a teen, but others said it was hard to concentrate in school with everything going on.
When finding out you are going to be a parent in high school, most students are lost. “At first I was stuck and didn’t know what to do,” says one student.
Once a student finds out they are going to be a parent, they have a list of options. “I knew as soon as I found out that I was going to keep the baby, no matter what, because I don’t believe in abortion,” said one student. Another student said she didn’t have the option of abortion, because she found out that she was pregnant too late for that option.
The students OHS Media interviewed all went to their parents or someone they knew who would offer help and support as soon as they found out they were pregnant.
“When you find out a student is pregnant you want them to know what is best for their health,” says Guidance Counselor Mrs. Farlow. “After they tell me their issues and we figure out the health problems, I then help them find their resources.”
Teen pregnancy is not only a girls’ issue. It takes two people to make a child, and both parents have the option to take full responsibility for their actions. Generally, girls are usually held more accountable for this issue, because they hold the baby in their own bodies.
“After I had my kid, I had to work out a schedule for her while I was at school.” says one teen mother. Interviewed teen mothers agreed that it is hard to be away from your newborn baby when you have to go to school. As teen parents, they want to be as involved in their babies’ lives, but it is hard when they have so many other responsibilities as a teenager.
“I rarely ever get to see my kid,” says one student father. “It is hard, considering her mother lives in Virginia.”
Life after becoming a teen parent isn’t like the stories portrayed on the TV shows and in the movies. It’s about becoming an adult and leaving your childhood behind. “Know what is best for you, but when you have a kid, know that it isn’t all about you,” a student mother states. “Having a baby is a huge responsibility in itself, and you should know what you are getting yourself into before you take it on.”