Why Did 1 of 8 Girls Get Pregnant at Robeson High?

Kristyn Hartman, KCAL-TV (Chicago), October 15, 2009

It is a Chicago public school full of energy and spirit. It has about 800 girls, and 115 of them have something in common–something you might find disturbing.

All those young ladies are moms or moms-to-be at Paul Robeson High School. It’s not a school for young mothers, it’s a neighborhood school. And all of the pregnancies have happened, despite prevention talk.

If you want to know why, the people closest to the situation say there’s no simple explanation.

Chicago Public Schools says it does not track the overall number of teen moms in the district. But Robeson Principal Gerald Morrow knows the count at his school in Englewood: 115 young ladies who are either expecting or already have had children.

To put it in perspective, their school pictures would fill roughly six pages of their high school year book.

Why is it happening at Robeson?

“It can be a lot of things that are happening in the home or not happening in the home, if you will,” Morrow said. Absentee fathers are another factor, he said.

LaDonna Denson and two other Robeson students say parents not talking to teens and, in some cases, the pursuit of public assistance also factor into the pregnancies. None of them thought they’d be moms at such a young age.

{snip}

 Students by Ethnicity 

 This School 

 Illinois School Average 

% American Indian

n/a

n/a

% Asian

n/a

3%

% Hispanic

n/a

14%

% Black

99%

19%

% White

n/a

60%

% Unknown

1%

4%

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