Teen mothers-to-be attending a Denver high school are asking for at least four weeks maternity leave, saying they don't want to be penalized for absences while healing and bonding with their new babies, The Denver Post reports.
Maybe, if you get pregnant in high school, and you want to take time off to bond with your child, you graduate a bit late. That's not punishment or penalizing, that's a natural result of actions you've taken. At the very least, if you want to take several weeks off school, you should go on a home/hospital-type program or perhaps online classes (assuming those programs exist in Colorado).
Giving new mothers "unexcused absences" for staying home with newborns seems ridiculous--"health" reasons, similar to an extended illness, would seem more reasonable. But the solution isn't to build in more time for the girls to miss school, but to explore alternatives (I listed three above) that allow them to be good mothers and good students. How can you miss a fourth of a semester and still learn what you should? This attitude treats a high school diploma as a commodity that's owed rather than as an accomplishment to be earned.
I've taught mothers--both were 8th graders. One was a diligent student who wanted to do her best so she could have a shot at raising her child well (I don't know where dad was). The other spent her time at school telling the other girls how best to perform oral sex so as to satisfy their boyfriends (her own mother worked nights so she could raise the grandchild while the mother/student was at school). The point here is there's a good way and a bad way to deal with being such a young parent--one way is to work hard, the other is to treat the situation as one in which everyone can owe you. Guess which one I support.
And it isn't giving a girl a pass on her education because she got pregnant.