The pregnancy support group at Leesville Road High School provides a safe haven for expecting students. Started by two guidance counselors, Mrs. Lyons and Mrs. Tucker, the group meets once or twice a month during Pride Period to talk and learn about childcare.
“We began the group in 2010 because of the amount of pregnants girls attending Leesville. [Mrs. Lyons and I] felt that they needed to be supported just like everyone else,” said Tucker. “We’ll discuss various topics at our meetings, including childcare and college. We had Mrs. Pridgen come in to teach the girls infant CPR, and we provide them with community resources. All of [the girls] love coming to meetings. We laugh, we talk, but sometimes there’s tears. The meetings are pretty private because I think the girls don’t like to be singled out. I’m currently pregnant, and people give me looks and comment on it. For me, I can’t imagine being in high school and being judged like that by your peers,” said Tucker.
The age of the mothers is an aspect of their pregnancy which is easily looked down upon by peers, and can be the cause of various criticism. However, these two guidance counselors have provided an open, loving place for expecting mothers: a place to vent, to share memories and to feel support from their school.
With all of the stress of being a teen mother, Mrs. Tucker and Mrs. Lyons have made a vast difference in these students’ lives. “I think it’s good for [the girls] to know who each other are and feel comfortable and open to talking,” said Tucker.