As a Minneapolis Public high school student, throughout my high school experience, I have seen many teenage pregnancies. Minneapolis Public schools have a program called TAPPP, standing for Teenage pregnancy and Parenting Program. This program is there for teenage students that have a baby or have become pregnant in high school and need a place to watch their child while they still attend school so that they don’t have to drop out. It is also there for mental and physical support for the parent.
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TAPPP is clearly there to support teen moms that become pregnant at an early age and can’t support their babies on their own. However I have always wondered if TAPPP encourages teenagers to become pregnant.
As my peers and I walk down the hallway at school, we see these adorable little babies being pushed around the school. We know that they are the children of young women the same age, or younger than us. The TAPPP coordinator at Roosevelt High School, Caroline said, ‘’I am unsure if the program influences teens around the school to become pregnant. I don’t think that everyone knows about TAPPP. I find more moms have already had a baby and brought their child into the program. Then, they have repeated pregnancies because they know first hand how supportive the program is compared to regular pregnancy experiences in other high schools.”
Yet, I am unclear if the program does anything to prevent teenagers from becoming pregnant, or if TAPPP is only there to support girls once they are already pregnant. Caroline says,” Planned Parenthood comes to meet with the parents to give them advice on being protected so that they do not become pregnant once again.”
Still, how does this help the girls who are watching the cute babies? How does this affect the people on the outside, is it a positive or negative impact?