To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Good News For [Censored], Bad News For The [Censored]

Not fair! Why should my life-altering decision have consequences? So say some pregnant high school students from Denver:
Teen mothers-to-be attending a Denver high school are asking for at least four weeks maternity leave, saying they don't want to be penalized for absences while healing and bonding with their new babies, The Denver Post reports.

The current policy at East High School requires new mothers to return to school the day after they are discharged from the hospital or be penalized for unexcused absences, the paper said.
Next, the article gives Head ['s opinion]:
"My initial reaction is if we are punishing girls like that, that is unacceptable," Nicole Head, one of the counselors who brought the matter to the school board last month, told The Post. "We've got to do something."

Punishing? Are you kidding me? Listen, I'm all for a new mother taking some time off work or school to care for the newborn. But calling it "punishment" just because there are negative consequences is fucking insane. What about the other students who practice safe sex or abstinence and still have to attend class every day and do homework every night? As if the current structure of the welfare state doesn't encourage teen pregnancy enough already, now new teen mothers might also get a month off school with no strings attached? Unbelievable...

In addition, this is yet one more issue that could be a non-issue were it not for the government monopoly on schools and the complete lack of consumer choice. The last sentence of the article states that the Denver Public Schools do not have a set policy for student maternity leave, and it's up to the individual schools. Therefore it's possible that some public schools in the Denver area have policies more friendly to new moms. If students or parents had any choice in education, the mothers could simply choose a different school. (Given the high costs involved with having a baby, the private school option will not be feasible in many cases.)

Even so, I find it extremely unfair to more responsible high school students for mothers to get time off school with no consequences.

Story here.

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