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Teen Mom Misconception #6: Teen moms drop out of school because they want to

Teen moms just want to live off of welfare. Teen moms are all about living off the system. These are some of the more blatantly wrong yet widely held falsehoods about teen moms.

The truth is that the vast majority of teen moms want to finish school, get a job and be able to pay their bills on their own -- without government assistance.

The harsh reality is that less than half of teen moms get the opportunity to complete high school… but not for the reasons that most people might imagine. The truth is that many public schools make it difficult for teen moms to earn their diploma - even though Title IX laws prohibit pushing a teen mom out of school simply because she is a parent. Despite the law, this still occurs quite often.

“We have laws in place to protect pregnant and parenting teens,” says Laura Lindberg, Ph.D., a researcher at the Guttmacher Institute. “But the fact that the law is on the book does not mean that every student is welcome. At best, parenting teens fall through the cracks. At worst, they are pushed out.”

Some states, such as New Mexico, have passed new parental leave laws that make it possible for teen moms to stay in school by providing additional accommodations such as private areas to nurse, additional excused absences, etc. Shifts in policy are a start, but until we have a societal shift in attitudes, we will continue to set young moms up for failure in school.

What does this look like? Let me share a few examples…
Kyra, a Hope House teen mom, told me how her teachers publicly belittled her for being a young parent, and Chantia shared how her teachers called her "stupid." A teen mom in New Mexico revealed in her blog that everyone, including her own family, told her that she'd never finish school after getting pregnant at 17. Another teen mom shared how during a birth control discussion in a health class, the teacher made her stand up and tell her classmates how awful it is to be a teen mom. This young mom left school two weeks later.

Teen moms want the same thing for their children that all mothers want: a safe, stable home and a bright future. More young mothers could fulfill this dream if our school systems were willing to provide support, encouragement and necessary accommodations rather than judgment and ridicule.


This might require a shift in societal views, but change must start somewhere! At Hope House, we recently helped found the Teen Parent Providers Collaborative, a step in gathering a group of like-minded organizations to address these issues and hopefully instigate change.


If you would like to join us in our efforts to bring light to this controversial issue, won't you please share this post with your friends and colleagues or post it on your social media platforms? Together we can start to make a difference!


By Lisa Steven, Executive Director, Hope House of Colorado - See more at:


By Lisa Steven, Executive Director, Hope House of Colorado - See more at:
By Lisa Steven, Executive Director, Hope House of Colorado - See more at:
By Lisa Steven, Executive Director, Hope House of Colorado - See more at:

By Lisa Steven, Executive Director, Hope House of Colorado


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Blog Archives

April 2017

Knowledge Share #14: Creating Connections through Children - 04/18/2017

March 2017

Knowledge Share #13: Managing Volunteers: Benjamin Franklin had it right! - 03/13/2017

February 2017

Knowledge Share #12: Advocacy and Self-Sufficiency: Finding the Balance - 02/14/2017

January 2017

Knowledge Share #11: Effective PR and Spot On Communications - 01/18/2017

November 2016

Knowledge Share #10: I Walk the Line: Creating Deep Connections While Maintaining Professional Boundaries - 11/15/2016

September 2016

Knowledge Share #9: "Fundraising for Non-Profits: An Insider's Perspective" - 09/22/2016

August 2016

Knowledge Share #8: Breaking Out of Poverty - 08/18/2016

July 2016

Knowledge Share #7: Creating a Home - 07/11/2016

June 2016

Knowledge Share #6: The Power of Mindset - 06/14/2016

May 2016

Knowledge Share #5: College or Bust! - 05/17/2016

April 2016

Knowledge Share #4:Understanding Addiction - 04/07/2016

March 2016

Knowledge Share #3:Mentoring Empowers Teen Moms - 03/21/2016

February 2016

Knowledge Share #2: Healthy Relationships - 02/11/2016

January 2016

Knowledge Share #1: Brain Development - 01/12/2016

December 2015

Teen Mom Barrier #8: Communicating the Barriers - 12/16/2015

October 2015

Teen Mom Barrier #7: Homelessness - 10/09/2015

July 2015


June 2015

Teen Mom Barrier Number #5: Domestic Violence - 06/03/2015

May 2015

Teen Mom Barrier # 4 The Challenges of College - 05/12/2015

April 2015

Teen Mom Barrier #3: The Unexpected Bill: Car Repair, Doctor's Visit, Broken Pipe - 04/03/2015

February 2015

Teen Mom Barrier #2: Childcare - 02/18/2015

January 2015

Teen Mom Barrier #1: Society's Negative Expectations - 01/26/2015

December 2014

Teen Mom Misconception #7: Teen Moms Are Completely Self-Absorbed - 12/29/2014

October 2014

Teen Mom Misconception #6: Teen moms drop out of school because they want to - 10/31/2014

September 2014

Teen Mom Misconceptions #5: Success is Impossible - 09/22/2014

July 2014

Misconception #4: Shaming Teen Moms is an Effective Approach - 07/22/2014

June 2014

Misconception #3: Mentoring Teen Moms is Complicated - 06/05/2014

May 2014

Because they want someone to love them? - 05/21/2014

April 2014

Teen Moms - A Persecuted Population? - 04/22/2014

March 2014

Connecting across the Continents: Teen Moms and the People Who Love Them - 03/18/2014

February 2014

Can you break out of poverty with a vocabulary of just 900 words? - 02/17/2014

January 2014

Community - 01/20/2014

December 2013

8 Pennies - 12/18/2013

November 2013

"The most courageous young women I know." - 11/14/2013

September 2013

Our Graduates: In their hands, they hold the future! - 09/30/2013

August 2013

The Cliff Effect and Other Perils on the Journey to Self-Sufficiency - 08/30/2013

July 2013

Breaking the Cycle: Do Poor Teens Have to Become Poor Adults? - 07/30/2013

June 2013

Measuring the Intangible - 06/15/2013

May 2013

Grown-Up Mom - 05/01/2013


Recent Comments

Knowledge Share #14: Creating Connections through Children
Lisa Steven said: Laura, you are an amazing teacher! You are making a huge impact in the lives of our young moms ...   [more]

Knowledge Share #14: Creating Connections through Children
Kerry Kelley said: What a great post, Laura! That was so insightful and caring! It almost made me cry! I love the pe ...   [more]

Knowledge Share #6: The Power of Mindset
Caty love said: Danielle is one of my friends back from high school and just wanted to stop by and show her how hap ...   [more]

Measuring the Intangible
Kim said: The truth just shines thrguoh your post   [more]

Teen Mom Misconceptions #5: Success is Impossible
Brenda said: Fantastic blog Lauren - and so true. Success IS possible when people love and believe in you! Nev ...   [more]

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