Tennessee program helps teen moms stay in school

Teenage moms in one Chattanooga school are banding together to offer each other support while counseling their peers not to get pregnant.

The girls are careful to tell their friends who see them with their children that parenting is not as easy as some reality TV shows make it out to be — and none of them would have gotten pregnant so young if they had the choice to make again.

Guidance Counselor Melissa Brassel recognized the high dropout rates among teen moms and created the club to keep the girls engaged in academics. She also puts together play dates for the moms and their children in the hopes of boosting their self esteem, according to WRCBtv.com.

"I felt like someone should be there for them, showing them the resources that are available," she told the station. "Dropping out does not have to be an option for them."

Programs like this should be lauded not only for offering a cautionary tale to others, but also, and more importantly, for helping teen moms to stay in school and earn a diploma. That piece of paper and the work behind it means these moms will be able to get better-paying jobs and offer more stability to their children than their peers who don’t graduate.

What programs do your schools and districts offer to teenage moms? Are they effective? What do you think would work best?

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