Many parents — and quite a few students — are not happy about a two-page spread in an Arizona high school yearbook that features teenage students who are either pregnant or have babies.
Pages 40 and 41 of this year’s Mesa High School yearbook have sparked an outpouring of emotional feedback from parents and grandparents concerned about seeing teen pregnancy portrayed in a positive light. Many have worried that the prominent display of attractive family photos in a yearbook could glamorize teen parenthood and make it look appealing.
“It makes it look cute and ‘I’m doing so great,’” Shelly Adams, a Mesa High parent, told 12 News NBC in Arizona. “And it’s wonderful that they’re still in school and they’re trying to finish up their education, but at the same time it doesn’t really convey the reality of what they are going through.”
Grace Edwards, a grandmother of a Mesa High School student, agreed: “My main message is wait — wait for the right time, which would not be when you’re in high school.”
But one psychologist who works with adolescents has a different take on the matter: She says the inclusion of teen moms and their babies in the yearbook is “all good.”
“I’ll tell you why,” Dr. Barbara Greenberg, a clinical psychologist who has specialized in the treatment of adolescents for 30 years, told TODAY.com. “We have, as a community, been doing a disservice to our girls for a long time by making them live with shame and embarrassment and secrets.
“And you know what shame and embarrassment and secrets lead to? They lead to anxiety and depression. Teenage girls have three times the rate of depression as teen boys … because we encourage them to be people pleasers and good little girls, and to keep secrets.”
SOURCE: Laura T. Coffey
TODAY / NBC