Home
In this issue
April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 25, 2007 / 8 Sivan, 5767

Pregnancy schools

By Mona Charen


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "Schools for Pregnant Girls, Relic of 1960s New York, Will Close." So announced a front-page headline in The New York Times. Well, if it's a relic, obviously it must be bad, right?


Right, says the Times. "Created in the 1960s, when pregnant girls were such pariahs that they were forced to leave school until their babies were born, the city school system's four pregnancy schools . . . have lived on . . ." Until now. They will close at the end of the school year "in recognition of their failure."


The Times paints a grim picture of these schools, virtual warehouses where pregnant teens are given busy work like sewing quilts instead of studying the Pythagorean theorem or biology. "It's a separate but unequal program," says Cami Anderson, superintendent in charge of the pregnancy schools, which cost taxpayers $33,670 per pupil per year.


There it is, in paragraph seven, the inevitable civil rights reference — the most overused and misused comparison in American life. "Separate but equal" was delegitimized because it made invidious distinctions based upon nothing more than skin tone. But not every distinction is unlawful or even unfair.


Schools used to separate pregnant girls from their classmates because it was deemed unseemly to have a pregnant high school student in the regular classroom. These days, we've largely removed the stigma. Which system was better?


The Times approached the issue purely as a matter of education. These girls were not being encouraged to make the most of their educational opportunities. The Times cited Cassandra Gonzalez, 15, pregnant with a boy due in July, who wants to attend college and become a lawyer but is distracted by the "constant talk of babies at school."


Well, it isn't as if she doesn't have reason to be distracted. In a few months, she will give birth to the most permanent distraction there is. And that is a calamity for her own educational prospects, for her child's well-being and for society. Everyone knows the statistics on teenage childbearing. More than 55 percent of children living in a home with a never-married mother will be poor, compared with only nine percent of children with married parents.


Looking at long-term poverty rather than a snapshot for any given year, only 2.5 percent of two-parent families remain poor for six years or longer, whereas 19.4 percent of single-parent families do. Single mothers are more likely to receive welfare, less likely to ever finish school and less likely to achieve other life goals than women who wait until marriage to begin having children.


As for the children of never-married mothers, they are far more likely than the general population to have psychiatric disorders, get into trouble with the law, drop out of high school and have out-of-wedlock children themselves than the population at large. Moreover, someone needs to tell girls like Cassandra, preferably long before they are big with child, that her expectations of college and law school are not very realistic if she is saddled with a baby. Bill Cosby is doing the Lord's work by telling teenage girls: "If you want a baby because your friend has one and she is soooo cute — get a puppy."


The schools alone cannot determine whether girls will get pregnant in high school. G-d knows the messages they get from popular culture are enough to make a Benedictine monk waver. And many of the girls' mothers have hardly set a good example. But the schools send strong social signals. The old stigma, as difficult as it may have been for the individuals marked, was a socially efficient (not to mention inexpensive) means of preventing an outcome that virtually all agree is deeply undesirable.


According to Exercise My Rights, an advocacy website (titleix.info), "Title IX protects pregnant teenagers, their children, and their futures. Under Title IX, schools are not allowed to treat pregnant or parenting students differently from other students. The law recognizes how important it is for all young people to have access to education, not just for their future economic independence and self-sufficiency, but also for the health and development of their children."


Closing pregnancy schools won't accomplish that. It simply continues what Daniel Patrick Moynihan called "defining deviancy down." Far better to discourage the pregnancy in the first place than to pretend that pregnant teenagers are just like everyone else.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


Comment on JWR contributor Mona Charen's column by clicking here.

Mona Charen Archives

© 2006, Creators Syndicate

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles