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Monday, November 2, 2009

Here's Why 115 Girls are Pregnant at Robeson High School

Let’s realistically talk about this issue. I grew up not too far from Paul Robeson High School, in fact, that was my old neighborhood school. My mother wouldn’t let me go to that school under no circumstances. They have tons of crack babies going to school over there letting out their frustrations with life through violence, not going attending class, and gangs. The gangs at that school were terrible at that school and the latest report coming from Robeson is the teen pregnancy problem. As of right now, 115 girls at Robeson are pregnant. The CBS 2 Chicago news channel reported this and you can read the story at http://cbs2chicago.com/local/Robeson.High.School.2.1251642.html. Many people on my Facebook friends list are stunned and Sandra Rose gave her analysis of the problem behind this epidemic http://sandrarose.com/2009/10/16/why-are-115-girls-pregnant-at-robeson-high-in-chicago . However, this is not news to me. Robeson has had a teen pregnancy problem for over 40 years! I knew girls who were going to Robeson when I was going to Luther South. They were having sex in the 6th grade! I’m wondering why it took over 40 years to finally shed light on the problem at Robeson.

Furthermore, I don’t agree Sandra Rose’s assessment, but I’ll give her an E for effort, but her reasoning overly simplifies the problem and other ethnic groups don’t have as many issues with teen pregnancy as inner-city black people and they’re exposed to just as many images of naked women through TV shows and movies, so BET is not to blame. There are many regions in this country where you have poor people of different ethnic groups and they have proven time after time that when you place people in an environment where they have no access to resources, where they’re dirt poor, uneducated, and possess no job skills; you’re going to have problems with violent crimes, teen pregnancy, and gangs –the same issues that middle America has led you to believe that only occur in the black community.

In the neighborhood surrounding Paul Robeson High School, the majority of parents do not see the value in education, they do not read to their children, they do not make sure they do their homework; its pretty much a vicious cycle of ignorance. Ignorant, high school drop out parents -many of whom are battling their own personal demons- raising high school drop out children. That's one segment of the student body. The other segment of the student body, -the sons and daughters of the church going black folks in the surrounding neighborhood- are being influenced by the functional illiterate school children who are too busy glorifying ignorance, out of ignorance. Its a vicious cycle. Furthermore, if you ask the girls why they're getting pregnant, its to qualify for section 8 and welfare so they can move out their mother's house and repeat a vicious cycle of ignorance, illiteracy, and illegitimacy. As long as the federal government allows for teen moms to get on public assistance and go to school on public money to stay on public aid until they're 40 years old, they'll never get the motivation to be productive in society. Many of these women will say "I'm doing good, I have my own car, my own apartment, and I'm in school." All of which are on the taxpayer's dime.

Want to curb teen pregnancy at Robeson and other schools like it. First and foremost the PARENTS need to start educating their children at home and be involved in their children's education. If you can not afford to send your children to private school then make sure you establish a relationship with their teachers. Go to the school on the first day of school to get to know each one of your child's teachers, and give them your phone number. Second, you must allow these teachers to do their jobs and hold your children, which leads into my third point. Principals and administrators ALLOW THE TEACHERS TO DO THEIR JOBS! Do not cave in to parents' demands that teachers ease up on the children. Teacher too hard on their child... NONSENSE! Principals, quit ordering your teachers to allow children to do make up work and change their otherwise failing grades. If children have to go to high school until they're 21 years old, then that's just what they're going to have to do. What are you teaching these children if you're not holding them accountable for their grades? If you're not demanding children to do their homework and pass their tests ON TIME then their idle minds are going to explore things like unprotected sex and violence. Fourth, quit pretending that teen pregnancy is okay, the onus falls on the parents first, the principals second and the teachers third to communicate the consequences of teen sex. Fifth, encourage these children to stop aiming low for a lifestyle of section 8 and other social services instead of being diploma mills. Perhaps if you work with the organizations for various professions and have them do some community service by showing up to the school for a workshop to show these girls better options than welfare, then maybe they'll use a condom and choose not to be on the welfare rolls.

Blaming TV is not the answer!

Parents, start taking responsibility for your children!

Administrators, quit forcing teachers to reward bad students with passing grades and allow them to teach!

Teachers, hold your students accountable! This can only be done if they have good Principles who will allow them to hold students accountable. I think teachers get unfair blame placed on them for underperforming schools when their Principle is telling them to change their Fs to Cs.