The ABC revisits Simone Bryant a decade after she completed the Young Mothers Program at Plumpton High School.
FORMER Plumpton High School principal Glenn Sargeant has urged NSW teachers to work harder to support teenage mums.
Mr Sargeant became the hero of teen mums in 1994 when he began the Young Mothers Program at Plumpton High School, overturning their banishment to a welfare-funded life.
The program ran well under Mr Sargeant, but after his retirement it fell by the wayside and was all but gone by 2006.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 11,420 babies were born to teenage mums in Australia in 2012 which was only slightly less than in 2003 when the Plumpton High Babies documentary was made.
Mr Sargeant told The Standard he could not understand why the school had stopped the program.
“If a girl fell pregnant she fell off the face of the earth,” Mr Sargeant said. “It would start a welfare cycle; so they get on that welfare train.
“But just because a girl falls pregnant at a young age doesn’t mean she has to stop her education.
“Education is about the students not the teachers.”
A teen mum and now mother of five,
He gave so much hope and a light at the end of the tunnel Simone Bryant
Simone Bryant said Mr Sargeant‘s rare passion for education was what made the program work.
“In my opinion, you will never find someone as committed as Glenn Sargeant,” she said. “To reintroduce the program, you would need to find someone with the drive and passion for their work like ‘Sargo’ had.
“He gave so much hope and a light at the end of the tunnel to so many young mums.”
Ms Bryant married her long-time partner Marc last year.
They met 17 years ago at Plumpton High School.
Simone and husband Marc Miller, their children, and former Plumpton principal Glenn Sargeant.