Comfort in Privacy: Brownsville ISD’s Lincoln Park High School opens nursing room

dfwnewsa | February 15, 2024 | 0 | East Texas News , South Texas News

Comfort in Privacy: Brownsville ISD’s Lincoln Park High School opens nursing room

As part of its mission to serve all students, Brownsville ISD on Wednesday cut the ribbon on a new nursing room in the daycare at Lincoln Park High School for pregnant teenage girls.

“We try to provide presentations once a week and today being Valentine’s Day, a day of love, was perfect to have the ribbon-cutting ceremony,” Lincoln Park principal Cynthia Cardenas said by phone from the school. “I’m hearing from my teachers, from my nurse, that the kids are still talking about it. They’re starting to learn about prioritizing for their baby.”

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Lincoln Park became a school in 1990. Today it has an enrollment of 61 girls from sixth to 12th grades, with 15 babies in the daycare. Cardenas said when she became principal three years ago she noticed the lack of a nursing room right away and put it on her bucket list.

“According to reports babies from teenage mothers are already born with setbacks,” Cardenas said.

“They’re born with disabilities. They’re born with health impairments because sometimes our teenage mothers are not even aware that they’re pregnant or they don’t take the prenatal vitamins, so (it was about) what we can do as mothers. We had two representatives from Valley Baptist who came in and presented to our students about the importance of breastfeeding. They mentioned all of the health benefits,” she said.

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“What I mentioned to my girls is you lose weight also, so it benefits mom, it benefits the baby. How does it benefit mom? Well, it helps them lose weight, it helps with two different types of cancers, you know, it reduces the chances of breast cancer and ovarian cancer, so it benefits the mom and the baby,” she said.

“The other reason is because as they breastfeed, they’re creating a bond with their baby as they nurse. And we want to be able to provide the privacy, a little privacy room where they feel comfortable, where they’re not going to be criticized where nobody’s going to be around, it’s just them and their baby doing what’s best for them and prioritizing them.”

Cardenas said Lincoln Park is a unique campus and that education does not stop just because the students have or are going to have a baby.

“The closest proximity probably would be San Antonio or Dallas that has a school for pregnant teens and a daycare. However, by law the state of Texas says any student, parenting or pregnant, needs to be serviced by the district that they pertain to,” she said.

Brownsville ISD Superintendent Jesus H. Chavez cuts the ribbon Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024, on the new nursing room in the daycare at Lincoln Park High School, surrounded by teachers and administrators at the school. (Courtesy photo)

“So every student in BISD, if they become pregnant or if they have an abortion or if they lose the baby or whatever the case is, they’re protected by the law. The education does not stop just because they had their baby six weeks ago.”

However, some girls that are pregnant choose to stay at their campus.

“Once they get bigger they come over to my campus, or they drop out, and that’s the problem, that they don’t know about this campus or they don’t know what else to do. They feel uncomfortable with their peers, with their classmates, and they drop out for a year. They have their baby and then they come back to us. Somehow, some way they end up back at Lincoln Park and then we have to close the gaps,” Cardenas said.

She said Lincoln Park services students from Los Fresnos, from IDEA Public Schools and from all over the Valley.

“Here students follow all state requirements. We don’t do shortcuts. We don’t exempt anybody. Here they have to follow what every student in Texas needs to graduate from high school,” she said.

Lincoln Park also prepares students for the Texas Success Initiative required for college entrance. Students can also get certifications through CTE or Career and Technical Education programs.

“The two-year certifications that Texas Southmost College offers, our district offers them, too. If they’re here at Lincoln Park they have that opportunity, that motivation to continue their education,” Cardenas said.

The post Comfort in Privacy: Brownsville ISD’s Lincoln Park High School opens nursing room appeared first on MyRGV.com.

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