Teen Mom on the Rose Festival Court

RosamontoyaToday's Oregonian reports that Rosa Montoya, who had a baby daughter two months ago, has just been selected Rose Festival Ambassador for Roosevelt High.

Some members of the community are questioning whether a single teenage mom can be a role model for other teens. For example...

"I am not taking away from all (Montoya) has done and accomplished," [Edward Hall] said. "But I am talking about competing in something that is like Miss America. How can she be a role model to other young women in the community?"

So, that's the question for you, BlueOregonians... Can she be a role model? Should a teen mom be eligible for Rose Festival Ambassadorhood? Can the Rose Festival be relevant in the 21st century, or is it an anachronistic relic?

Discuss.

Comments

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    I suppose she might be a role model for anti-abortionists, since she brought the child to term.

    I suppose she could be a role model for those who strive to succeed under less than ideal circumstances.

    I suppose she could be a role model for those who object to social ostracism.

    Queens, princesses, royal courts? What could be ananchronistic about that? Maybe we could add Rose Serfs or Rose Slaves to the festivities.

  • Karynn (unverified)
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    A longstanding Portland tradition has it that becoming a Rose Festival Princess is the only surefire way to regain one's virginity. Does having a young mother on the Court strain credulity on this point? One billion Catholics say we can learn to accommodate the apparent contradictions.

    Seriously. I have to applaud every move this little pageant makes toward supporting young women where they are at. This year, according to the big O, the women on the Court will also receive individual mentoring from female executives at Pacific Power. It's like a tacit acknowledgment that these girls could have a big time career one day. Guess that means they might not spend that scholarship money on an MRS degree, ha! ha!

    All this darn "realism" means disappointing folks like good neighbor Ed, who will pine for the days when all the little girls were supposed to measure themselves against the fairy tale princesses the community offered up on a platter every year. Sorry, boys!

  • (Show?)

    Unfortunately, teen pregnancy has been a reality for a very, very long time (just about as long as people have been having sex). There's no reason that someone who happens to have had a child at a young age can't be considered a role model if her academic and social achievements at school otherwise warrant such positive recognition. I'm sure she's not encouraging others to run out and get pregnant and I'm pretty sure (I'm hoping) that no one will intentionally become pregnant simply because Ms. Montoya did.

    In fact, she's in a rare position where she's obviously held in high enough esteem by her peers that, if she wants to, she can talk about the struggles I'm sure she's faced as a result of her pregnancy and the birth of her child and they might actually listen.

    I'm willing to bet that the people speaking out against her ambassadorhood are the same ones who fight against birth control education and condoms in schools. There's a world of people out there who live on some other plane of existance where they assume that if you ignore these problems or unfairly punish these girls when they do find themselves in this situation, that it'll somehow stop the problem. The rest of us know that that's simply not the case. Like stripping her of her title or setting pregnancy as an exclusion from contention is going to prevent someone else from getting pregnant. Stripping Vanessa Williams of her title (excuse the pun) didn't stop people from posing for Penthouse nor do I think that it encouraged anyone who wasn't already so inclined to pose for such publications.

    This young woman has accomplished a lot. If her peers and her community choose to recognize her for those accomplishments, whether or not she has a child should not be a consideration. And apparently - remarkably - it wasn't. Except by the guy whose granddaughter lost.

    As for the Rose Court itself... I don't see that it causes any harm - at least not any more than homecoming queen or prom king and queen do. Though I'm sure someone will debate me on that... It's a tradition and while I'm not someone who favors tradition for tradition's sake - as long as it's not hurting anyone and is, in fact, helping these young women (with the mentor program and the scholarship money), it's not necessarily a bad thing. The ceremony itself kind of masques the point of recognizing these young women for their accomplishments. If it were simply a scholarship and mentoring program, I don't think anyone would say word one about it, but throw the formal gown and the tiara back in and it is, to some, an anachronistic relic? Nah. As long as it doesn't become too beauty pagent-esque by adding a swimsuit competition or something, I just don't see a problem.

  • (Show?)

    Absolutely not. Let's just cut to the chase:

    No one who's ever had a baby can be a role model. For that matter, no one who's ever had sex can be a role model. In fact, no one who's ever thought about sex can be a role model.

  • Becky (unverified)
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    I think that since all the other girls are NOT teen moms we have plenty of role models for young girls who don't want a baby at a young age to look up to. What's wrong with having a role model for those who have made that kind of mistake - someone who can show that there is life (and even respectability) after a big mistake, and someone who demonstrates the value of the unborn life despite the hardships a child can bring at a young age? If we value people we will move forward to help this girl make the best of her situation for herself and her baby and I think it's admirable that her school has chosen to honor her in this way.

    Old fashioned moral values are certainly a good thing, and what most people want their own children to aim for, but if pressing for that value system means we have to ostracize people who fail and prevent them from living a full and productive life, then we are not being moral at all.

  • Aaron (unverified)
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    The student body of Roosevelt HS thought that she is a good representative from Roosevelt HS to the Rose Court. Leave it alone, BlueOregonians; it is about time. For the socially politically correct out there, are getting themselves worked up over this; my statement to them is oh well. This shows that the student body at Roosevelt HS is very progressive. CC states what is truly the issue at hand: ...teen pregnancy has been a reality for a very, very long time. And not a young lady, that is a teen mom and was selected by her peers, to be an ambassador on the Rose Court.

  • Sid (unverified)
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    I hope she ends up being chosen to be the Rose Queen and she can sit on the highest chair on the float in the Rose Parade with her baby ;-) She can hold up the little baby's arm and wave it to the crowd. If the baby gets hungry on the long parade route she can breast feed the baby by holding her with one arm and continue waving to the crowds with the other arm.

    That would be great, and The Onion couldn't write about it because it would be a true story.

  • (Show?)

    My mother has a fantastic story from her own high school days in the late sixties in southern Oregon. One of the young women in her class got married between her junior and senior year of high school (not a common thing then but not as odd as it would be now). She got pregnant mid-way through her senior year, but chose to hide her "delicate condition" because it would have gotten her kicked out of school. Thus, wearing the baggiest clothes she could find, she earned her fourth state championship in the javelin...while she was five months pregnant.

    While I could give the proverbial rat's behind about the Rose Festival Court, I wish Rosa Montoya luck. I hope Portlanders stick up for her. All of us who were sexually active in high school know that we were pretty much a broken condom from having to confront teenage pregnancy first-hand, so I'll be casting no stones in her direction. And while things have changed since the 1960s pause for quick moment of thankfulness, we all know that her participation in this civic ritual, with its inevitable media attention, takes some guts.

    The world's got room for lots of different types of role models. A gutsy young single mom who continues her education and seeks out scholarships and mentoring (ballgowns and tiaras notwithstanding) to help her on her way sounds like a good role model to me, particularly for her daughter.

  • Steve Buckeye (unverified)
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    Isn't it time the media stops identifying people who either achieve, or under-achieve, by monikers such as single-mother, black, disabled, etc. These appellations only serve to diminish what the person has done, or in the negative, lump all persons together in that same negative category.

    When I hear single-mother, or Hispanic businessman, or on a fixed income, etc., I always think, rightly or wrongly, that these folks expect more from society because they somehow see themselves as different based on how government and media categoize them. My next thougt, because I work in government, is that somehow they achieved because government has rigged the system for them. This should not be. It takes away from their hard earned achievement!

    When someone gets to be a Rose Festival princess, just identify her as every other girl who achieves this same honor. She is no better, or worse, than any of the other girls who have been voted to the court by their peers.

  • (Show?)

    When I hear single-mother, or Hispanic businessman, or on a fixed income, etc., I always think, rightly or wrongly, that these folks expect more from society because they somehow see themselves as different based on how government and media categoize them.

    Um... heh. Well, the thing is that it is harder to be a single mother, an Hispanic businessman, to be black, etc. in this society. My mother was a single mother and I will never admire another person more for making some of the tough decisions she had to make - and for dealing with me. :-) For working full time, raising me, and somehow, somewhere finding the time to go back to school when I was in my teens. In my mother's case, you would have been very wrong. My mom asked for and expected help from no one. Everything she had, she worked for. Everything I had, she worked for. Hell, everything I have now can in many ways be attributed to her. She never complained about doing it all on her own... in fact she was damned proud of it.

    In my opinion it is wrong to assume that any and all people who face tougher challenges from society automatically expect more from society. In some cases it might be true, but it's not fair to lump anyone into a box like that. It's not the media or the government that has made people single mothers, Hispanic businessmen, or black - they are what they are and if that fact happens to bring more challenges to them and when they overcome them, they deserve the credit.

    So while I understand your point. The challenges that one faces to get where they are are a huge part of that success. The fact that Rosa Montoya didn't let her pregnancy or the birth of her child interfere with her personal goals in spite of what society might have said/done from the outset says a lot about this young woman's character. And though it should not be a part of the decision to appoint her to the Rose Court (and while it may overshadow some of her accomplishments), it is an important part of her story and of her success for the simple fact that she didn't let it stop her. I can't see how overcoming challenges can ever be seen as diminishing one's success. I think it's just the opposite.

  • Chris (unverified)
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    I agree with the general thrust of most comments here that it is okay for Rosa Montoya to be on the Rose Festival Court.

    My point in commenting is that I don't believe that court princes, princesses, kings, queens, etc. are actually role models for today's kids. And I don't think they were when I was in high school in the late 80's and early 90's either. Prior to that I don't know.

    I may be wrong, as I can only judge this based on my own perception. But my obesrvation is that those who like the people enough to vote for them in the first place probably don't look to them as role models. Rather they are "friends". And those who don't know them could probably care less. It seems that these courts are more about popularity confirmation.

    Am I off on this, or was my perspective (as a kid) on elected royalty (Rose Festival, Homecoming, etc.) different than most? Or was my high school just weird like that? At South Eugene High School we weren't real big on school spirit, tradition, etc.

  • Karynn (unverified)
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    Chris,

    Yes, that was my perception too at that age.

    And yes, South Eugene High School is weird.

    :-)

  • Anthony (unverified)
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    As someone fairly new to Oregon, I have no idea what the Rose Festival is, let alone what the criteria are for being elected "queen." If it's merely a popularity contest, or a vote for good looks or a nice personality, who cares? But if the Rose Queen is supposed to be an exemplar of conduct, then there is a case against Rosa Montoya.

    No one should wish to persecute this young woman, but I would hope that her recognition comes in spite of her being irresponsible enough to get herself knocked up while a high school student. Anybody who doesn't think such behavior should be discouraged isn't thinking clearly about the interest of either the mother or the child. The power of example is strong, including the example of people who express indifference at this manner of bringing a child into the world.

    Everyone should wish Rosa (and her child) well, and hope that she can strive to be a good example in other ways into the future, despite being such a bad one in this respect.

  • Jim (unverified)
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    Anthony, Without commenting on anything else you said, please note that she did NOT "get herself knocked up." Someone else did that.

    National data -- confirmed over and over -- say that most pregnant teens did not want to have the sexual relations that brought about the pregnancy. They were either pressured or coerced. If the discussion is moving to identifying irresponsible parties, the father (who is frequently not a teen) is the most likely contender imho.

  • Kevin Hayden (unverified)
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    Silly question. In a state with leches like Goldschmidt and Packwood on the prowl, with a long tradition of unconventional-but-principled leadership (Morse, McCall, Weaver, DeFazio, etc), I see no reason this gal shouldn't be considered for US President someday.

    So she's had sex and it resulted in a child. If she's a good parent, what possible better qualification can there be for a role model?

  • Anthony (unverified)
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    Jim,

    If Rosa had been raped, it obviously would not be her fault, and we should be having another discussion.

    Whether she was or wasn't, obviously the father is equally responsible, and if he's not taking responsibility he's a swine.

    If your point is that teenage pregnancies hardly ever result through willing behavior on the part of young woment, let's take a closer look at your "national data." Oh, and by the way, I have a bridge you might like to invest in. It's a classic piece of architecture that spans the East River.

    I agree with Kevin: I see no reason Rosa shouldn't be considered for president someday, or for any number of other honors. If she has the best grades, or wrote the best essay, she should be honored for that now.

    But if the contest is supposed to honor an exemplar of a high school student in some general sense, she has probably disqualified herself, because getting pregnant as a high school student, generally speaking, provides a terrible example.

    As I wrote before, she can strive to be a good example as she goes forward in life, including being a mother that we can all admire. But if she's not married, and if the father isn't going to be around to do his part, then she's already stacked the deck against her child. If she is married and if the father will be around, that's another matter. Depending on the circumstances, however, she still seems a dubious choice for a distinction meant to honor exemplary conduct.

    If that is what the Rose Queen is about, then Rosa should probably have been disqualified from candidacy. If her preganancy was known about by the organizers of the competition (and there was no allegation that she had been raped), and she wasn't disqualified, it is important to note that the responsibility for the outcome of the competition is theirs, not Rosa's. That shouldn't stop anyone from discussion whether it's such a great idea for her to be chosen, however.

  • (Show?)

    But if she's not married, and if the father isn't going to be around to do his part, then she's already stacked the deck against her child. If she is married and if the father will be around, that's another matter. Depending on the circumstances, however, she still seems a dubious choice for a distinction meant to honor exemplary conduct.

    Thank you Dan Quayle.

    It's sad that 13 years after Quayle's idiotic Murphy Brown statement (quoted here under the heading of Family Values and the Cultural Elite.) some people haven't gone forward. Is it harder to raise a kid on your own? Of course it is. Is the deck automatically stacked against the child? No. Just because something is harder, doesn't make it worse (or wrong). In fact, sometimes it can be better. We don't know her family situation, we don't know the circumstances under which the child was conceived (for the sake of argument, let's assume it was consensual sex. Ergo, both parties are responsible for the little bundle of joy). And we don't know the circumstances under which the choice was made to keep the child.

    She may have a wonderful family to support her and her child possibly making that kid pretty damned lucky. The father may be around, but maybe she's smart enough to know that teen marriages don't last. And for the love of God just because someone isn't married does not make them a worse parent! My mom made a choice - in her words - to raise me in a home with one happy parent rather than two unhappy ones. I've never thought she made the wrong choice.

    Yes this woman is young. Probably too young to have a child. She's just a child herself. However, it happened - under whatever circumstances (which aren't our business) it happened and she's got a baby. The point is that she's not letting it stop her from achieving her goals, using it as an excuse to give up on her future or drop out of school. Maybe she made some irrisponsible choices, but that doesn't make her an irresponsible person.

    And unless you've only ever had sex with the intent to procreate, you really don't get to judge.

  • Anthony (unverified)
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    CC wrote:

    “And unless you've only ever had sex with the intent to procreate, you really don't get to judge.”

    By this logic, if you’ve ever driven under the influence of alcohol, you’re forever exempt from remarking that drunk driving might not be such a great idea.

    Regarding Dan Quayle, what exactly is the “move forward” that CC is advocating? I’d ask her to explain where exactly Quayle goes wrong in what he said, but given how poorly she has read what I wrote I don’t have much confidence in her exegesis. While I wouldn’t have expressed myself quite the way Quayle did, he seems to have more right than wrong.

    I am not saying that a child can’t be raised well in the absence of more propitious circumstances. I am saying that, by and large, the circumstances of Rosa’s child’s birth are not likely to favor that child’s prospects.

    Remember, this conversation is about examples. It’s quite possible that a drug abusing, thieving juvenile delinquent could turn out to be a pillar of society. CC’s own case shows that a person raised by a single parent can turn out quite well. But that doesn’t make drug abuse, larceny or single parenting a recommendable option — and examples are all about recommendation to the mass of people. For the mass of people, getting pregnant during high school is likely to have regrettable consequences. The same is true of single parenting (i.e., fatherless families) generally, even when the mother is older.

    What’s interesting is that CC actually acknowledges this: Rosa is, “Probably too young to have a child.” What CC says next is also consonant with my position, which is: Bravo, to Rosa if she makes every effort to be a good mother and achieve worthwhile goals, despite this mistake (IF – as I have made abundantly clear, it was, in fact a mistake). I think it’s fair to observe, however, that having a child at this stage is likely to have an undesirable impact on any achievements she had in mind other than motherhood. Either that, or it’s likely to interfere with her being the best mother she can be now — to say nothing about how much better mother she could have been had she deferred motherhood to a more favorable time in terms of her own maturity, and probably the presence of a mature, responsible father.

    CC then submits that making irresponsible choices “doesn’t make her an irresponsible person.” Now, while I agree that early lapses needn’t define a person’s character for life, but surely if the term “an irresponsible person” can ever justly refer to anybody, it is to someone who has made irresponsible choices.

    CC is right to say that “just because something is harder doesn’t make it worse (or wrong)." Of course being harder doesn’t make something better, or right — or smart — either. It’s harder to become a virtuoso violinist than a mediocre skateboarder. It’s also harder to drive at 60 miles per hour on a snowy, winding road than to navigate those conditions at, say, 30 miles per hour. It’s harder for a teenager to resist the circumstances in which she can become pregnant than not to resist them. The former is laudable, the latter is deplorable. Why? Because the harm that teenage pregnancy tends to cause both mother and child — and society as a whole, in the long run — is avoidable.

    People can triumph over errors, and we should support their efforts to do so, but that doesn’t mean we should be in denial about those errors.

    CC also has a point when she says that, “just because someone isn’t married does not make them a worse parent.” No doubt there are many unmarried parents who have excellent qualities which place them above many married parents. But statistically speaking, the best situation for a child is to be born to two married parents, and thus that is what ought to be encouraged as a norm by argument, by social policy and by example.

  • Teri (unverified)
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    The fact that Rosa Montoya didn't let her pregnancy or the birth of her child interfere with her personal goals in spite of what society might have said/done from the outset says a lot about this young woman's character.

    Exactly. "Personal goals" should always be paramount and pesky little things like human beings that we brought into the world should not "interfere". Especially if our goal is one so lofty as to be a rose ambassador. (Being denied such a position would obviously be the cruelest sort of "punishment" and would even consitute "ostracism", according to some posters.) Don't you know that we can have it all, and personal responsiblity should never have to enter the picture?

  • (Show?)

    "Personal goals" should always be paramount and pesky little things like human beings that we brought into the world should not "interfere".

    Oh that's not what I meant. Please. I'm referring to those who find themselves in this situation who give up on their goals that they had before becoming pregnant. It was never my intent to minimalize the situation. Parenthood is an incredible responsibility - one that, at 30, I am still nowhere near ready for. She's gonna have a hell of a time - and I certainly don't envy her.

    OK Anthony, we could be here all week if I responded to everything, so I just want to say that social policy should NOT dictate what a family is or isn't. I mean, if you grew up in a household with two parents who loved each other, 2.5 kids, 2 cats and a dog, that's fantastic. I grew up in a different situation but my family was no less a family than anybody else's. I also knew someone who was a single parent and married so that her child could have this ideal nuclear family that you encourage - and she spent 25 years being abused and feared leaving him because she thought he would kill her. I've apparently seen the world from a far different perspective than you and I don't see families as any particular shape or size... as long as there's love and support and they're happy, that's the important part. That's what raises healthy, happy, successful, well-balanced children. Not just because they have two married parents, or just because they had a child when they were 27 instead of 17. Are there more ideal situations? Of course there are - and when you find this perfect world, you be sure to let me know.

    If I were her would I have made the same choices? Noooooooo way in hell. Do I think she's made her life a hell of a lot harder and she and her child will face some tough challenges? Of course I do. But that doesn't make her a bad person. It doesn't make her someone who can't be respected or someone who can't be a role model. Nobody in their right friggin' mind is going to run out and get pregnant because a rose princess did! It is not now nor will it ever be the hip, trendy, in thing to do.

    But I've been thinkin' - in a time where more kids are having sex younger and younger, and the under-24 generation is contracting AIDS at an incredible pace, perhaps there's a bigger problem than whether or not a rose princess had a kid. And that, my friends, is all about education. You can't hold kids responsible for knowing something that perhaps no one told them in the first place. Maybe Rosa Montoya didn't make a mistake, maybe we did.

  • JMG (unverified)
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    It's time we focus on the more serious problem of pageants in this great country. They should be abolished once and for all. These overly made up ditzes are not a role model for any young woman, whether their sluttyness has led to the bearing of children or not.

  • Anthony (unverified)
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    CC wrote:

    “…social policy should NOT dictate what a family is or isn’t”

    I’m not sure what it would mean for social policy to “dictate what a family is,” my point is that if we know (and we do) what is likely to result in greater success and happiness, we should favor it and encourage it. And if we know what is likely to result in greater failure and misery, we should disfavor it and discourage it.

    Frankly, CC, I get the feeling that you basically agree with me but aren’t comfortable with my style or language -- or something. For whatever reason, you find pretext to disagree with me, and then proceed to actually agree. I don’t malign the familial nature of the bonds between a single mother and her child, but I do take the position that having a child while in high school is less than ideal. And what do you say? “Are there more ideal situations? Of course there are.”

    Now, you immediately proceed to distance yourself from that statement by suggesting that aspiration toward ideals is unrealistic. But then you bounce right back and make some emphatic comments about behavior in the real world: There’s “no way in hell” you would have made the same choices as Rosa, because her choices resulted in unfortunate consequences for her and her child — which is exactly why I say it makes a bad example.

    But then you reverse course, as if you can’t bear to embrace the ethical significance of your own observations. “But that doesn’t make her a bad person.” Forget about “bad person,” can you not bring yourself to put into words what you’ve already implied: that having a child while in high school is a poor choice? And if it is a poor choice, and an extremely consequential one, might that not get in the way of this person being held up as an example to her peers?

    To salvage your position you also imply that Rosa’s peers will somehow be influenced by her good example but will be immune to her bad example. Her having made what her terrible choice doesn’t make her “someone who can’t be role model,” you say. This makes me want to ask what, exactly, is your understanding of how example (or a "role model") works.

    It also puts me in mind of an interview described by a prison psychiatrist: A criminal patient excuses his habitual misconduct to the doctor by pleading that he is “easily led.” The doctor replies, “Were you easily led to study higher mathematics and foreign languages?” Now, which examples do you think present a path of least resistance: academic excellence or academic mediocrity? Sexual self-control or sexual self-indulgence and carelessness?

    Good examples are important precisely because we are so easily led by impulse. It may be true in a strict sense that “nobody in their right friggin’ mind is going to run out and get pregnant” because mind has very little to do with it. Thus, being pregnant might not be hip and trendy, but the behaviors that make it more likely to become pregnant most certainly are.

    So are the behaviors more likely to result in getting AIDS, since you bring it up. I’m sure we agree that dying from disease is worse than having a child while in high school, but both are the result of irresponsible behavior which I’m concerned to draw attention to and you and others here have been at pains to excuse. You don’t seem to appreciate that the AIDS dimension makes my arguments all the more forceful. You are acknowledging nothing other than the fact that the consequences are potentially even more dire than carelessly bringing a child into the world. I’ve emphasized that this is a matter of life, you helpfully point out that it can be a matter of life and death.

    Staggeringly you go on to argue against accountability. “You can’t hold kids responsible for knowing something that perhaps no one told them in the first place,” you say. “Maybe Rosa Montoya didn’t make a mistake, maybe we did.”

    I can’t imagine that you mean that Rosa didn’t know that sex could lead to pregnancy. The reality is that people act recklessly despite what they know. If a supposedly intelligent student gets pregnant out of sexual irresponsibility, she most certainly did make a "mistake," but not because she wasn’t in possession of the facts. That is an error not of knowledge, but of character, and we do the rest of students no service if we pretend that it isn’t. To borrow your language, it most certainly is harder to expect kids to be responsible if we don’t “tell them in the first place” that irresponsibility is not a matter of indifference.

  • Claire (unverified)
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    I was initially excited that a teen mom was chosen. How progressive. It's been a week....I'm still excited. I think it shows people that a teen can have a baby and still be a good, productive member of society. It seems that every girl who is under the age of twenty becomes labeled a "teen mom" and let's face it, the label is a stigma. "Teen moms" are seen as people who are on public assistance, had the baby for their own selfish reasons, are not moral people, etc. But here's a girl who had a baby, is set to graduate, is a role model for all girls, is heading for college, has goals, and has a family who supports her. I am so excited for this particular teenager....I hope she's a wonderful mother who is proud of all of her accomplishments.

  • Doug (unverified)
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    I don't see what the discussion is about. The reality is is that despite the difficulties and life changing responsibilities getting pregnant may present, high school girls do get pregnant. If a condom breaks and they don't have an abortion, are these young women suddenly no longer allowed to participate in school sanctioned events? (Didn't most of us have sex in high school? Should we have been exempted from school activities?) I substitute taught at Rosevelt a couple of times and was told by a teacher that only about 1/4 of Rosevelt's freshman class ends up graduating. So this young lady should be commended for continuing with her education and attempting to be an active member of her school community. Good for her!

  • Anthony (unverified)
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    I'm beginning to feel as if I'm attempting to penetrate a firewall that prevents certain kinds of distinctions from being apprehended.

    No one has said that Rosa or anyone in her position should be persecuted, and everyone agrees that she should be commended for being a good student. However, if overall exemplary conduct is or ought to be part of what qualifies someone to be a Rose Festival Ambassador, then a case can be made against Rosa's inclusion, again, assuming she's not married and hasn't been raped.

    If you think that getting pregnant during high school (other than with the qualifiers just mentioned) is consistent with exemplary behavior, then your position is logically coherent, but simply wrong. Getting pregnant during high school is, generally speaking, bad for the mother, bad for the child, and bad for society.

    Rosa may indeed prove to be a fine example of what someone can do in the wake of a serious mistake. But that serious mistake is what it is and disqualifies her for the prize of guide to "how to be the best high school student you can be."

    I frankly don't understand why one wouldn't want to make it clear to young women that this is an undesirable course to take at this stage in life.

  • Chris (unverified)
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    Um, it looks like there have already been more than enough comments on this topic, but I thought I'd mention one that I didn't see posted above - and that is that Ms. Montoya is already a role model, and will continue to be one, to her child. I can only imagine that in the future, her children and her children's friends will look up Rosa Montoya with greater respect because, in 2005, she was a Rose Festival Princess.

  • Dave (unverified)
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    Why are people so worried about who is doing what? So this girl has a baby, how many of you biggoted Christians, people against abortions have made mistakes in your lifetime? I think that it is wonderful and I hope that she comes to be the "NEXT QUEEN OF ROSARIA". That would certainly burn some peoples you know whats and you know who I mean!

    YOU GO GIRL!

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