I was reading an article today about teen mothers in Denver, Colorado who are fighting for the right to have excused absences after they give birth to bond with their children and recover.
I don't think high school girls who get pregnant should ever keep their children. Either abort, or if you aren't comfortable with that, arrange for an adoption. Keeping a child at that young an age is selfish and foolish and I intend to teach my daughters that they are NOT going to be ready to care for a child until they are financially independent and gainfully employed. It has nothing to do with age or marital status, it has to do with financial ability to care for a child independently without being a drain on society.
That said... If a girl DOES keep her child, we have to do something for her. Otherwise she'll just drop out of school, and thus, not be able to properly care for her child. Maternity leave is important for their health and the health of the child-- I would say two months after discharge from the hospital, with work packets to keep up with the course load; one month if she gives the kid up for adoption, to heal. Maybe get volunteer tutors to help, or something (And if they don't come back after that, treat it the same way you would treat a normal teenager who skipped school-- go after the parents). Then, have a childcare facility attached to the school, but, have the caretakers of the children in the daycare be a few supervisory staff members/teachers and then students, who are taking a class in parenting skills and childcare. A teaching daycare, basically. Provide a free service to the teen moms (and teachers) in exchange for a unique opportunity to teach students what it is like to care for children, under the supervision and guidance of professionals. That way, kids who take the class won't want to have kids for a LONG time and mothers can come visit their kids, breastfeed them, etc, during study hall and lunch (they could eat lunch with the kids). Teen dads could even come visit their kids and play with them.
And yeah, wealthier families would put the kids into professional daycares rather than have high schoolers care for them, but the point would be that there would be a chance for girls (or teachers) who can't afford regular childcare to have care for their kids. You could even have slots for children whose mothers are working adults in other jobs, but can't afford normal daycare, for a fee that is greatly reduced from the normal cost of childcare. Basically have the same idea as a teaching hospital, just have it be for childcare.
What do you think?