Pregnant students attending classes frowned upon

Sunday September 23, 2012

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/9/23/nation/12070302&sec=nation
By LOH FOON FONG
foonfong@thestar.com.my

PETALING JAYA: Although there is no law to stop pregnant teenagers from going to school, the girls’ parents will usually not let them attend classes.

“They want their daughter to be out of the school because they fear their children will face stigmatisation,” said Malaysian Child Resource Institute governor Aisha Z. Abdullah.

Aisha said schools with teenage pregnancy cases might want them out because if they did not leave, the schools would be compelled to make police reports if there were criminal offences in-volved.

She said schools were also concerned that the cases might tarnish their image or influence other students to do likewise.

Aisha said that in the United States, pregnant students were allowed to continue attending classes because their plight would act as a deterrent to the other students.

“After they return from giving birth, the student will then share their struggles and discourage others from following in their footsteps,” she said.

Aisha said it would be difficult for students in Malaysia to go back to their schools unless there was enough support from the Government.

On what should be done for cases involving pregnant teenagers if the perpetrators are living in the same community, she said “it would have to be dealt with on a case-to-case basis”.

In the case of a 13-year-old orang asli girl who got pregnant with her neighbour, the parents and the community head would probably need to make the decision together, she added.

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