Season 3 - Episode 3 “Jamie” Raised by a single mother, Jamie is a straight A student with big plans for the future. But after getting pregnant she struggles to mold her irresponsible boyfriend into the doting father she never had. Because she grew up without a dad around Jamie really wanted things to be dif- f f- Jamie ferent for her own daughter. When Ryan lets her down—by not being there, by ably cheating on her, and by challenging her parental authority—she is understandably b upset. Should she have seen that coming, given Ryan’s sketchy past? Were you surprised that Jamie believed in him for as long as she did? What do you think will happen in the future with Maya and her father? Do you think Jamie and Ryan will eventually get back together? Babies born to teens are much more likely to grow up apart from their fathers. Kids who grow up in families without fathers are more likely to be poor, more likely to get involved with drugs, more likely to struggle in school, and more likely to suffer abuse and neglect. For more about the importance of dads, and for tips on how to be a better father, go to www.fatherhood.org. Girls who grow up apart from their fathers—like Jamie did—are more likely to get pregnant as teenagers. Jamie’s school is really supportive of teen parents and even has a day care right on campus and school buses equipped with baby seats. What do you think of that? Do schools that embrace teen parents inadvertently encourage teen pregnancy? Or do they provide much-needed support to teen moms by helping them stay in school? What do you think Jamie would do if her school didn’t have these services? It’s hard to concentrate on classwork when you’re thinking about a child and it can be difficult to even make it to class sometimes if the baby is sick or there are doctor appointments. That’s why, in part, the majority of girls who have babies during high school don’t graduate at all. Pregnant and parenting students have rights! They are allowed equal access to schools and activities, and must have access to the same special services provided for all “temporarily disabled” students. Schools must excuse absences for pregnancy- and childbirth-related reasons with a doctor’s note. If a school has a separate program for pregnant and parenting students, those programs must provide the same opportunities that other students get. For more information on this, you can visit www.nwlc.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/PPStudentRightsUnderTitleIX.pdf. Even though she considers herself a “planner,” Jamie says she wasn’t planning to get pregnant. Except that she and Ryan weren’t using any sort of protection when they had sex. Having unprotected sex IS planning to get pregnant because if you have unprotected sex on a regular basis, there is an 85% chance of pregnancy within one year. Luckily there are many types of birth control available. The most effective protection of all is not hav- ing sex in the first place. Want to know more about birth control? Check out www.StayTeen.org/birth-control-101 or www.itsyoursexlife.com/gyt/protect/what-works-what-doesnt. Want to find out how much it costs, and where you can get it? Go to www.Bedsider.org. Having sex is a grownup thing with grownup responsibilities. Your sex life is important to you and you owe it to yourself and your future (and your partner) to be as safe as possible. Jamie’s mom is totally helpful—driving to doctor appointments, and pitching in with parenting tasks, not to mention providing a home for them to live in—but she’s not shy about the fact that she was really disap- pointed when she found out about the pregnancy. She even tried to talk Jamie out of going through with it at all. What did you think of Jamie’s relationship with her mom? How did you feel about the way Jamie’s mom handled the drama with Ryan? Can you imagine how your parents would have reacted in similar situations? What would Jamie’s life (and Maya’s life) be like without such a supportive parent? Most teen girls who get pregnant never thought it would happen to them. Thinking it won’t happen doesn’t count—or work—as birth control. The majority of girls who have babies before age 18 don’t graduate from high school. Fewer than 2% graduate from college by age 30. Teen pregnancy is hard on teens—but much harder on their babies. A baby won’t make him stay. Eight out of 10 fathers don’t marry the teen mother of their child. Most couples don’t stay together at all. Once there is a pregnancy, every road ahead is hard—whether the choice is to become a teen parent, make an adoption plan, or have an abortion. In comparison to any of those, preventing a pregnancy is easy. It takes two people to get pregnant, but only one to prevent it. Be that one! Have questions or need to know where to go? Check out these trusted sites and hotlines: Think you might be pregnant or need to find a health clinic? Call Planned Parenthood at 1-800-230 PLAN (7526) or visit www.PlannedParenthood.org. Questions about sexual health, STDs, or getting tested? Check out MTV’s www.ItsYourSexLife.com. Looking for information about all the available birth control methods and where you can go to get them? Go to www.Bedsider.org. Want more facts and tips on teen pregnancy and how to prevent it (waiting, contraception, talking with par- ents and peers, etc.)? Go to www.StayTeen.org and www.TheNationalCampaign.org.