June 26, 2008

Free Daycare -- And for Your Baby, Too!

"How dismaying to read about the 17 girls at Gloucester (MA) High School who, some say, made a pact to become pregnant together," Amber Winkler writes. "And then we learn that the high school intends to provide free daycare for their babies."
What kind of message are we sending to students when we house daycare centers for them in their schools? What might they think when they walk past such a center in a converted classroom every day? When they see cute babies in the hallways before and after school? Does not the mere existence of in-school daycare signal that schools are legitimizing teens' poor choices? Is this a definite perverse incentive?

By all means, let's help teen mothers graduate from high school and make better lives for themselves and their children. Let's provide help to their disadvantaged offspring so they can have a healthy start in this world -- perhaps through discounted or even free off-site daycare programs. I'm all for it. Let's just not use our high school facilities to do it. High schools already have enough to do.
Thomas Sowell has correctly observed that much of what is called "education" today is nothing more than "glorified baby-sitting." Now it's reached the point where taxpayers are providing free baby-sitting for two generations of children in one building.