Close to 100 secondary school children will get an opportunity to express their views on teenage pregnancy next week, when the Child Care Board (CCB) hosts its annual Youth Forum as part of Child Month celebrations.

Teenage Pregnancy: Life Before, Life After is the theme of the one-day seminar, which will be held on Wednesday, May 18, at the Barbados Workers’ Union Auditorium, Solidarity House, starting at 8:30 a.m.

During the session, students of Grantley Adams, The St. Michael School, Princess Margaret and St. Ursula’s will make presentations (for and against) on whether

Abstinence is a Realistic Option for Young People in Today’s Society and When a Teenager Becomes Pregnant Parents Should be held Accountable.

Later in the day, there will be smaller group discussions on topics including What is the Role/Rights and Responsibility of the Alleged Father; Should the Teenage Mother and her Family who Refuse to give Evidence be Prosecuted; Are Young People Aware of Family Planning Options? and What Can be Done to Keep Teenage Parents In School??? ????

Child Care Officer at the CCB, Roxanne Sanderson-Weekes, said some professionals would be assigned to those groups to hear the young people express themselves and later correct any misconceptions.

Those professionals are: Gynecologist, Dr. Natasha Robinson, Guidance Counsellor Delores Codrington, Attorney-at-Law, Dawn Shield-Searles, Psychologist, Sean Pilgrim, Social Worker, Kerryann Hurley and Rector of St. Thomas Parish Church, Reverend Michael Clarke. A teenage mother will also be present to share her experiences.

Mrs. Sanderson-Weekes underscored the importance of the forum, explaining that it was designed to educate the students, as well as hear their views on teenage pregnancy, in an effort to see how best the issue could be addressed and, if possible, eliminated.

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