Mon | Jul 23, 2018

Don't blame teen pregnancy on poverty

Published:Tuesday | November 22, 2016 | 12:00 AM


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.