PLUMPTON RE­VIS­ITED

The ABC re­vis­its Si­mone Bryant a decade af­ter she com­pleted the Young Moth­ers Pro­gram at Plumpton High School.

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - FRONT PAGE - Danielle Jarvis

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.