Overview of Teen PregnancyTeen pregnancy is an important issue. There are health risks for the baby and children born to teenage mothers are more likely to suffer health, social, and emotional problems. Women who become pregnant during their teens have an increased risk for complications, such as premature labor and socioeconomic consequences as well.
Declining teen pregnancy rates are thought to be attributed to more effective birth control practice and decreased sexual activity among teens. The most dramatic reduction in teen pregnancy—23%—has occurred among African American teenagers.
Still, teenage pregnancy rates remain high and approximately 1 million teenage girls become pregnant each year in the United States. About 13% of U.S. births involve teen mothers and about 25% of teenage girls who give birth have another baby within 2 years. To lower teen pregnancy rates, older children must be educated about sex and about the consequences of pregnancy.
Other Consequences of Teen Pregnancy
- Teenage births are associated with lower annual income for the mother. Eighty percent of teen mothers must rely on welfare at some point.
- Teenage mothers are more likely to drop out of school. Only about one-third of teen mothers obtain a high school diploma.
- Teenage pregnancies are associated with increased rates of alcohol and substance abuse, lower educational level, and reduced earning potential in teen fathers.
- In the United States, the annual cost of teen pregnancies from lost tax revenues, public assistance, child health care, foster care, and involvement with the criminal justice system is estimated to be about $7 billion.
10 Ways Teachers Can Help Prevent School Violence
Ways to Prevent School Violence
1. Take Responsibility Both Inside Your Classroom and BeyondWhile most teachers feel that what happens in their classroom is their responsibility, less take the time to involve themselves in what goes on outside of their classroom. In between classes, you should be at your door monitoring the halls. Keep your eyes and ears open. This is a time for you to learn a lot about your and other students. Make sure that you are enforcing school policy at this time, even though this can sometimes be difficult. If you hear a group of students cursing or teasing another student, say or do something. Do not turn a blind eye or you are tacitly approving of their behavior.
2. Don't Allow Prejudice or Stereotypes in Your ClassroomSet this policy on the first day. Come down hard on students who say prejudicial comments or use stereotypes when talking about people or groups. Make it clear that they are to leave all of that outside the classroom, and it is to be a safe place for discussions and thought.
3. Listen to "Idle" ChatterWhenever there is "downtime" in your classroom, and students are just chatting, make it a point to listen in. Students do not have and should not expect a right to privacy in your classroom. As stated in the introduction, other students knew at least something about what the two students were planning at Columbine. If you hear something that puts up a red flag, jot it down and bring it to your administrator's attention.
4. Get Involved With Student-Led Anti-Violence OrganizationsIf your school has such a program, join in and help. Become the club sponsor or help facilitate programs and fundraisers. If your school does not, investigate and help create one. Getting students involved can be a huge factor in helping prevent violence. Examples of different programs include peer education, mediation, and mentoring.
5. Educate Yourself on Danger SignsThere are typically many warning signs that show up before actual acts of school violence occur. Some of these include:
- Sudden lack of interest
- Obsessions with violent games
- Depression and mood swings
- Writing that shows despair and isolation
- Lack of anger management skills
- Talking about death or bringing weapons to school
- Violence towards animals