Monday, January 21, 2008

[Maternity Leave] High School Students in Denver Petition for Four Weeks

Via Feministing's Weekly Feminist Reader, this story out of Denver:

Pregnant students in a Denver high school are asking for at least four weeks of maternity leave so they can heal, bond with their newborns and not be penalized with unexcused absences.

That is amazing. And smart.

HS counselors gets at the reason:

Two counselors from East High School approached the school board last month, saying the policy at their school is unfair and inconsiderate because it forces new moms to return to school the day after being discharged from the hospital or face being charged with unexcused absences.

"My initial reaction is if we are punishing girls like that, that is unacceptable," said Nicole Head, one of the counselors who brought the matter to the school board last month. "We've got to do something."

I wonder this is handled in Lebanon? I know there is available day-care (though how available it is I'm not clear on), but I would imagine that the unexcused absence problem (and lack of formal policy) do create the occasional headache.

Turns out having a child while still in HS has an adverse effect on future education:

Teen mothers face a challenging future, with many dropping out. A third of teen moms receive their high-school diplomas and 1.5 percent get college degrees before they turn 30, according to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.

It sounds like the women in Colorado have a lot of support from counselors and school board members. Good.


Cassie said...

Wow, I'm wondering how that is handled in Lebanon too. Most daycares won't take newborns under 6 weeks old (at the youngest), so the student would have to be excused for at least a month and a half before the day care option is even available to them. It's great to see that counselors and school board in Denver are taking a positive stance for the young mothers.

Roxy said...

I think this is a great idea. We have options for both men and women in the workplace for family leave, but no in the school system, so it makes total sense. Reaction in Lebanon? ... I really am not sure. I'm pessimistic.

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