Nebraska Lawmaker Passes Bill To Help Teen Moms Graduate From High School
A lawmaker from Nebraska would like schools to be more accepting of teen moms. Two bills have recently been filed with the legislative committee seeking to help these young women finish high school while taking care of their baby.
Nebraska Legislative Bill 427 and 428, which are sponsored by Omaha's Sen. Tony Vargas, seeks to expand laws on breastfeeding, as well as implore schools to be more accommodating to teen moms. LB 427 proposes all high schools should provide the student mothers with a clean and ideal space for breastfeeding or for pumping milk for their baby. LB 428 proposes the drafting of written policies for pregnant teens and teen parents, Omaha reports.
As it is, Nebraska has laws allowing for public breastfeeding but it doesn't specifically cover high schools and teen mothers, hence Vargas wants this identified and defined. At least 17 percent of schools in Nebraska currently have policies for student parents but Vargas wants more schools to be involved.
Vargas wants schools to be more accommodating to students who are raising babies, especially when it comes to absences or doing projects. He hopes for schools to provide teen moms and student parents alternatives to ensure they can finish the course.
If possible, schools must also help the teen parents with child care, according to KLIN. If the school doesn't have such a facility, the bills propose school officials should find providers to partner with to help the teen mothers.
Vargas hopes by coming up with these bills, the state would be able to retain more teen moms in school. The senator cites at least 70 percent of teenagers who get pregnant do not go back to school anymore and it's costing the future of Nebraska's youth.
"Student mothers are mothers," the senator said, according to Ledger Enquirer. "We're just clarifying that and extending that to make sure they have the same rights."