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by FiveBoxes Staff | 2008-01-11 10:28 

Pregnant students in a Denver high school are asking for at least four weeks of maternity leave so they can heal, bond with their newborns and not be penalized with unexcused absences.

The request is unusual in Colorado’s public schools, where districts tend to deal with pregnant students or new moms with specialized programs or individualized education plans.

Denver Public Schools has no district-wide policy, leaving it up to schools to work out plans for students to continue their education. Two counselors from East High School approached the school board last month, saying the policy at their school is unfair and inconsiderate because it forces new moms to return to school the day after being discharged from the hospital or face being charged with unexcused absences.

“My initial reaction is if we are punishing girls like that, that is unacceptable,” said Nicole Head, one of the counselors who brought the matter to the school board last month. “We’ve got to do something.”

I agree that you have to do something, but we disagree on what needs done. What needs done is to discourage teen pregnancy by making the penalties and punishments worse, not rewarding them with four weeks off of school with no penalty.  This lesson has stood the test of time: By rewarding and coddling to undesirable behavior, we only increase its abundance.

Full article: The Denver Post – Birth leave sought for girls

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