A Chicago high school is bringing attention to the growing problem of teen pregnancy. Of the 800 girls at Robeson High School, 115 are either pregnant or already have kids! Officials say a variety of factors are to blame.
The school is a neighborhood schools, not one specifically for young mothers. And all of the pregnancies have happened, despite prevention talk.
The people closest to the situation say there's no simple explanation.
"It can be a lot of things that are happening in the home or not happening in the home, if you will," Robeson principal Gerald Morrow said. Absentee fathers are another factor, he adds.
Several of the young teen moms say part of the problem is that parents don’t talk to their teens about sex and contraception. None of them thought they'd be moms at such a young age.
Robeson has an intimate connection to the issue: His mom had him when she was just 15. This may contribute to his accepting the problem and working through it. So what’s he doing to help?
"We're not looking at them like 'Ooh you made a mistake,'" he said. "We're looking at how we can get them to the next phase, how can we still get them thinking about graduation?"
Coming soon, developers are turning a one-time crack house into a day care for student use. "We have to provide some type of environment for them and some form of support for them," Van Vincent, CEO of VLV Development, said.
The efforts have made an impression on the student body.
"Just cause you have a baby, that doesn't mean your life is over," one student said.
The statistics paint a scary picture for both the teen moms and their children:
- Only a third of teen mothers earn their high school diploma. And only 1.5% have a college degree by age 30.
- Girls born to teen mothers are more likely to be teen mothers themselves.
- Boys born to teen moms are more likely to end up in prison.
What can you do?