As local author and educator Jean Harper notes well in a recent blog post, the issue of young people becoming parents before they're ready is a serious one that needs critical attention in our community. Teen pregnancies have a direct impact on the health and well being of our young citizens, on the ability of our education system to be effective, and on many other aspects of community life.
To be sure, it's a difficult issue to tackle, especially given the strong feelings and opinions that come up around related issues - the role of the state in parenting, sex education in schools, abortion, etc.
We shouldn't expect everyone in the community to agree about these issues or what to do, but we could take some steps in the right direction by facilitating some intentional conversations in the community about the issue of teen pregnancy and how to address it.
It could take the form of the Study Circles programs that have been conducted in the past around issues of racism, poverty, and other core issues - groups form and agree to meet over the course of a few weeks or months, using some guided discussion and supporting materials to help them along.
Perhaps there are existing organizations doing work with family issues that could take the lead on this?