The incidence of teen pregnancy is far too high. Children having children. High schools having to devote precious resources to helping teen parents care for their child while they get an education. How does that happen? One of the greatest benefits of such a class would be getting teens to reconsider sexual activity once they realized how difficult bringing up a child is, particularly for someone their age. At the very least they may practice safe sex, and more likely, more would refrain from sexual activity altogether.
I did not get married until I was 25 and my first child arrived when I was 26. To say I was unprepared is a huge understatement. I was virtually clueless. While I was financially capable of caring for a child, I was not in the least educated in parenting.
Nationally, high schoolers are required to take four years of English, three years of science, and two years of math. Why not also require one year of parenting? Even better, require that all students take the class even before they are allowed to drop out of high school, and maybe especially so.
Such a class would in no way, shape, or form be a sex education class. It would start out with what expecting parents go through, their responsibilities to themselves, and to the unborn child. Then they would learn the basics for caring for a new-born, home care, doctor’s visits, sick child, and what a day in the life of a new parent is like for any 24-hour period. It would also teach them about the economics involved in child-care, what the costs of proper child-care look like. It would also take up the task of what to do with a child when something goes wrong. It would also make them aware of children born with defects and how that impacts the new parent.
One last thing, I would make it a requirement for every student to get a grade of “B” or better to pass the course. Parenting education is far too important to allow for mediocre grades. But the upside of this, such exposure will ultimately be helpful to all students, even the most responsible, as they go through life. There is nothing better than good preparation for anything you enter into.