Should Teen Moms Be Celebrated in the High School Yearbook?
School yearbooks usually show the same standard fare: basketball team and honor society photos, most likely to succeed and class clown, and lots and lots of head shots against a blue background. But Mesa High School's yearbook this year featured a spread that has created an uproar—a whole story dedicated to the teen parents at the school.
Some worry that the two-page article helps glorify teen parenthood, and may make teen pregnancy seem cooler. But others say that the article, which addresses the positive and negative impacts becoming an early parent, can help parents start the conversation with their kids, and may make some kids think twice.
Personally, I think it may be an effective tool for keeping kids from getting pregnant in the first place. Shows like MTV's Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant have actually been credited with reducing the rate of teen pregnancy, as kids start see the consequences of it—broken relationships, lack of time to do normal teen stuff, and an inability to follow through on their dreams.
Teen pregnancy does happen, whether it's represented in the yearbook or not. And I know that when I was a teenager, seeing my classmates become pregnant was enough to scare me. They had to drop off sports teams, and give up their dreams of going away to college—or even of going to college at all. That definitely wasn't what I had in mind for my future!
Tell us: What do you think? Could a yearbook spread on teen parents encourage or discourage kids from becoming pregnant? And if you were a teen mom, tell us how your school handled it!
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Image: Mesa High Yearbook, Courtesy of Mesa Public Schools