115 Moms, Moms-to-Be at South Side High

Principal places blame on lack of leadership, father figures

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    The pregnancy problem at one South Side high school doesn't show signs of getting better.

    They've got to be putting something in the water near Paul Robeson high school.

    How else does one explain 115 out of 800 girls from the high school either being pregnant or being moms?

    It's a district-wide, officials say. It's a national problem, but the numbers seem to be higher at Robeson.  The district does not track teen pregnancies.

    "With them being vulnerable and as a society having a lack of leadership and a lack of fathers, the first older guy that shows any fatherhood characteristics, they attach on to," Robeson Principal Gerald Morrow told WBEZ radio earlier this year.

    Chicago Public Schools has no prevention or counseling programs in place to address the issue. The district cut the Cradle to the Classroom program, where each student had a caseworker, WBEZ explained.

    Morrow is trying to make a difference at Robeson, however. Born to a mother who was 15, Morrow uses federal funds for a teen parenting class where he can talk to them about their experiences and offer assistance.

    Developers are also working on turning a one-time crack house into a day care for student use, CBS 2/ WBBM reported.

    Some statistics that ABC 7 / WLS reported about a year ago:

    - About one-third of girls in the United States get pregnant before age 20.
    - In 2006, a total of 435,427 infants were born to mothers aged 15-19 years.
    - In 2006, birth rates increased for the first time for girls aged 15-19, from 40.5 per 1,000 women in 2005 to 41.9.
    - For girls age 18-19, the rate of births is more than three times higher, at 73 births per 1,000 women.