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Teen Pregnancy and High School Drop Out Prevention

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Teen Pregnancy and High School Drop Out Prevention

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  • December 2011
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Teenage pregnancy is affecting the graduation rate in high schools. All over the nation the dropout rate of students is increasing, of which teen pregnancy is often a factor. “Approximately 1,000 high school students will drop out with each hour that passes in a school day in America. This means that 30 percent of the class of 2007, or 1.2 million students, were estimated to have dropped out last year” (National Women's Law Center, 2007). Many factors combine to affect a pregnant or parenting teen’s decision to drop out of high school. This paper will discuss these factors, the statistics and history of teen pregnancy, strengths and needs of this population and finally an intervention plan will be proposed based on past evidence to help teen mothers graduate high school. Over the years, schools and districts printed false or incorrect graduation rates, and as a result, the American public knew little of the possibility and seriousness of the problems faced by far too many of the nation‘s high schools. Reputable research has uncovered alarmingly low graduation rates that were previously hidden behind incorrect calculations and inadequate data. Between 2007 and 2008, the State Event Dropout rate of Arizona’s was 6.7% (Chapman, Laird & KewalRamani, 2010). Policies regarding teen mothers have been lost in the education system and people aren’t aware there even is a policy. “…Under Title IX, passed in 1972 and implemented in 1975, public schools are explicitly charged with providing equal educational access and opportunity to pregnant and mothering students” (Pillow, 2006). Sometimes even the slightest forms of discrimination can be enough to drive pregnant teens out of school.  They come in the form of schools refusing to allow excused absences when a teen has a doctor’s appointment related to pregnancy or teachers not allowing make-up work to be completed. Sometimes counselors convince pregnant teens to move to substandard alternative schools or do not allow...