Don’t blame teen preg­nancy on poverty

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION & COMMENTARY -

THE EDITOR, Sir: I READ with shock and dis­may the ar­ti­cle in The Sun­day Gleaner of Novem­ber 20 ti­tled ‘High-school moms – Hard­ships forc­ing Claren­don girls into teenage preg­nancy’. Kel­lits High is my alma mater, which af­forded me much of the foun­da­tional aca­demic skills for the mas­ter’s de­gree that I now proudly pos­sess.

A big ques­tion that has been puz­zling my mind af­ter read­ing the ar­ti­cle and wip­ing away the tears is, how did my school get here? From 1986-1991 when I tra­versed the cor­ri­dors of this noble in­sti­tu­tion, there were two preg­nan­cies in my grade level, and I am sure not 20 for those five years.

Hard­ships ex­isted then, but we stu­dents knew that Ms Betsy Tay­lor in the Home Economics De­part­ment would be kind enough to as­sist with some of her baked goods when we were hun­gry. Most stu­dents then had only one pair of shoes, and many chil­dren walked from Dou­glas Cas­tle, Ma­son River, and even San San and Blue Shop in Crofts Hill to get to school by 7 a.m. No stu­dent had any ex­pen­sive cell phone, brand-name sneak­ers, or Jans­port knap­sack.

These were the hard­ships that gave us the re­solve to get an ed­u­ca­tion so that we could lift our­selves and, maybe, some of our fam­i­lies out of the deadly grasp of poverty. MOR­RIS MCCARTHY mor­rism­c­carthy005@ya­hoo.com

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