New Guidlines For Schools Hope To Boost Pregnant Teen Graduation

By: Belinda Post
By: Belinda Post
New school guidelines say pregnant teens can play sports, separate pregnancy programs are voluntary and must offer the same opportunities as traditional programs.

Credit: ABC News

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Friday, July 19, 2013

For some people being pregnant while in school is too much.

"Education tends to be one of the first things to go," Dereen Dryden, director of the Gerard House, said.

Dryden sees pregnant teens struggle to finish school.

"The saddest stat is only 2 percent, if they are pregnant under the age of 18, will go on to complete college by age 30," Dryden said.

To boost those stats the Department of Education recently updated schools' responsibilities to pregnant and parenting students.

Some of those responsibilities are: including them in all after school activities, including sports. Separate pregnancy programs must be voluntary, and those programs must offer the same academic and extracurricular opportunities as regular programs.

These and other guidelines are in place to encourage teen parents to graduate.

"Their top priority needs to be getting prenatal care and finishing school."

This is the first update in 22 years and affects any school getting government funding.

The guidelines also list ways for teachers and counselors to give additional support.

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