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December 24th, 2009 by Dr. Phil

Pregnant Pause

teen pregnancy2OK, did you see this in the news from my old stomping grounds in Texas? Mackenzie McCollum, a pregnant 17-year-old high school volleyball player in Fort Worth, Texas, has filed a federal civil-rights complaint after her coach first benched her for several games this season and then later required her to get a doctor’s permission before she could continue playing. She alleges the coach and school discriminated against her by not letting her play, and therefore, she may have lost the chance at getting a college athletic scholarship. Hmmm. 

The coach and his bosses at the school district contend that their primary consideration must be for the health and safety of one of their students, especially one who happened to be carrying an unborn child. 

Let me say from the outset, I’m the last person in the world who will ever condone teenage pregnancy. I am sickened when I read that unplanned pregnancies among teenagers are on the rise again. Children having children is never, ever, a good idea.  I guess the question the court will be asked to decide, if the case goes forward, is whether or not the teen mother-to-be was damaged by the school’s actions, or was it right to act to protect the mother and her unborn child? Again, hmmm.

As a former litigation strategist and consultant, I feel I could argue either side effectively. Federal Title 9 law prevents sex discrimination in education, and that includes classification based on a student’s pregnancy. So she is going to have an argument to make in court.

Still, what would you do here? After all, we’re not talking about croquet. We are talking about competitive volleyball, where players often have to “dig” for the ball by making diving moves toward the floor. If you were the coach of MacKenzie’s team, how comfortable would you feel watching her trot out on the floor (she was four months pregnant when she was benched)? Even though MacKenzie did get a statement from a doctor saying she was perfectly capable of competing, as long as she did not dive too aggressively for balls and land on her stomach, would you truly feel comfortable letting her play?

I do admire MacKenzie for having the courage to go public and fight for what she sees as her athletic rights. I also hope she is working even harder to prepare herself to be a good parent at such a young age — which is her ultimate challenge. Getting a scholarship could pay for an education that could help provide for her child, but either way, she has a long, long road ahead. 

So: Let her play, or sit her down? You make the call.

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108 Responses to “Pregnant Pause”

  1. ashley long says:

    If she is so concerned with getting an athletic scholarship, then why was she so careless….? Surely she knows how babies are made! If she brought a doctors note giving her permission to play vollyball, she could still sue the school if anyhting happened to that unborn child… The school is in a no win situation. This is just another immature teenage, looking for a lawsuit, easy money, and probably parents seeing $$ signs as well.
    You choose the behavior you choose the consequences!
    Get pregnant and your life changes.!!!!! Deal with it!!

  2. Linda says:

    I don´t have any children myself but a personal opinion is that I think most people are not ready to become parents before they are about 25 years old. I do have two friends who had kids when they were still teenagers and everything worked fine. One friend of mine had a daughter when she was 17 and another friend had her first son when she was 19 ( they are now 18 and 16 years old! I just can´t believe it!). But most people in that age I think don´t realize how much work it takes and what great responsibility it is. I don´t think this girl realize that either. I think the coach did the right thing in this case.

  3. Althea Raines says:

    I am from the old school. Kids look toward their peers more than they ever listen to the parents. I say bench her, would be a good time to set a precedent for her peers. If you don’t, next season you may have a whole team of players+one. What Doctor in his right mind would give a pregnant person an “okay to play” note????

  4. Sara says:

    I play competitive volleyball for a college in California, and I know for a fact there is no way possible to play safely while carrying a child. This is just a matter of a selfish little girl who is not ready for motherhood. CHILDREN ARE NOT PLAYTHINGS!!

  5. Tia Rutter says:

    What the heck? She’s wanting a volleyballl scholarship and is pregnant in high school? Does she really think a college is going to grant that?

    If it were me, I wouldn’t WANT to play to put in danger my baby’s life or my own. Kudos to the coach for only benching her and not taking her off the team all together. Good for them for looking out for the health and safety of the 2 lives at stake.

  6. Andrea says:

    I can’t imagine any Dr. writing that note? She obviously doesn’t fully understand the danger she may be putting herself and her newborn baby in. Hopefully those instincts will kick in after the baby is born.

  7. Karyn says:

    I believe the school has the right to “bench” anyone they want to. It’s not a “right” to play sports – it’s a privilege. I used to perform in musicals in high school – should I have sued the school for not getting me leads which then made me not get a music scholarship? There are consequences in life – you choose the actions you choose the consequences. We bench students all the time for getting bad grades – will THOSE students have the right to sue? She made a choice – and her choice has consequences. i think it’s ridiculous she’s even allowed to sue.

  8. Caro Lashouto says:

    What would Dr Phil say if this was HIS grandbaby ? hmmm

  9. Dorinda says:

    I believe the coach along with the district did the right thing to protect this girl and her unborn child. As she knows, accidents do happen, and God forbid if she was made to play her position she would complain, and Lord if she was hurt or the baby came early due to playing ball then she would be pissin’ and moan’n over that too! She’ll soon learn (maybe) that life isn’t only about her and the real ballgame hasn’t even begun.

    Former Mom of a pregnant teen son

  10. Rhiannon says:

    It sounds to me like Mackenzie wants her life to continue on the same path now as it was prior to her getting pregnant. The reality, though, is that your life changes dramatically when you become pregnant.

    It is admirable that she appears to be working hard to earn a scholarship for college, but sometimes plans get derailed. Unfortunately, when she began having sex (likely thinking she’d never get pregnant) she began to jeopardize her future. What’s worse is that now she is willing to jeopardize the life of her unborn child. Seventeen is just too young for most girls to be getting pregnant, especially when they’re not willing to alter their lifestyle for the well-being of that child.

    I understand that her doctor wrote a note saying she was okay to play as long as she didn’t dive for the ball or land on her stomach. The scary part is that is a major part of competitive volleyball. You have to be able to save the ball from hitting the ground when playing, and that includes diving to the ground. Even hitting the ground on her side could have a damaging affect on her baby, as well as her own body. Additionally, it is not feasible to be, say, 32 weeks pregnant and waddling around on the volleyball court. Believe it or not, balance is highly affected when pregnant, and suddenly ordinary tasks (walking, running, bending, etc.) become a chore!!

    Newsflash, Mackenzie! It’s time to grow up and take responsibility for your actions. Try getting an academic scholarship. Apply for other scholarships for which you may qualify. You can not put all of your eggs in one basket and expect volleyball to be your ticket to an education. Moreover, you can NOT expect the school, or your unborn child, to take the brunt of your actions and pay for your future. Ask the baby’s father to help you pay for school. :)

  11. Andrea says:

    I totally agree with Adhley. I played volleyball all through my teens and coached a JR High team, I would NEVER place a pregnant person on the court as I would NEVER place a person with a tumor or other issue that could place them in harms way. Also, I can’t imagine the distraction to the team mates. We would ALL be attempting to protect the at risk person and not play to the best of our abilities.

    Then there is my mothering side- Having been pregnant twice and fighting pre-term labor the entire time, I can’t imagine being so selfish to put that baby at risk! If she got jabbed or someone fell on her does she realize the risk to the baby?

    This entire case is rediclous and a waste of our courts time. This selfish child should sit out the year. Get pregnant and you give your body to another for 9 months. Keep the baby and you give that child the rest of your life. NO exceptions.

  12. Tazz says:

    I would think that by now there would be league guidelines on the subject. Assuming there weren’t and therefore not there to follow… I don’t believe schools have the right to make that decision alone. Since we’re dealing with a minor, the school has a right to challenge the safety issue, but it’s the parents who give permission for a child to play sports, NOT the school. I think a special note could have been worked out for the parents to sign showing that everyone was aware of possible dangers and the girl should have been allowed to play if all made an informed decision to let her. Having said that… women are encouraged to not discontinue whatever exercise they are used just because they are pregnant. Her body does protect the baby and as long as she’s not experiencing pain and can still comfortably do it, most doctors would allow her to keep playing.

  13. Glynis says:

    I do believe the coach and school administration was in the right on this case. The safety of the unborn child is their main concern. It would be one thing if Mackenzie was involved in a non contact type sport, but the potential of falling, getting hit in the stomach, etc. would be a big concern for me with Mackenzie and her unborn child. It might also affect how her team and opponents would play, too, for fear of hurting her or her baby. It is unfortunate she may have lost her scholarship, but that all changed when she got pregnant. Her priorities should know be towards the health and well being of her baby. I encourage young Mackenize to purse higher education and better her life. Anyone can create a baby, but the real work starts once that baby is born. It most certainly changes your life and priorities change once that new life is brought into the world. I wish the best for them. This is a prime example of why teens need sex education to avoid pregnancy, as well as potentially serious diseases that can affect their entire life. We also need to teach them that it’s okay to wait before getting involved in an intimate relationship & should something happen, they must be prepared for the consequences that go along with that.

  14. Crystal says:

    The girl should have been benched! A pregnant female should be more concerned with the health of her unborn child than with being able to play volleyball. This is just the second sign of her immaturity. The first sign being the careless act of sex in general. Sex has consequences and if you can’t take the heat, then you should probably stay out of the kitchen. My advice to her would be to take it like a woman, grow FAST and step back into reality.

  15. Andrea says:

    Sorry, that should have said “I agree with Ashley.”
    The joys of using my phone’s keyboard. (:

  16. Nadia says:

    Anyone here thinking that ALL of us make mistakes (and no neither I nor my 3 teenagers are teenaged parents!)…and that even realizing that she was careless and got pregnant, that while it CHANGES her life, it needn’t DERAIL it?!
    That perhaps her mom or an aunt will be babysitting while she attends college but that just like prior to pregnancy, she needs a scholarship for her education?!?!
    I understand the school protecting her safety…and frankly themselves from a lawsuit for negligence, but if her doctor said she could play and documented that, then the school would legally be off the hook – so I see why she feels discriminated against.

    People – is ANY mistake or error in judgement worth losing your entire life path for? EVEN if it is now with the addition of a child and all the changes that come with that? Should her being a teenage mom be compounded with the inability to afford/attend college so that she may end up as a welfare mom?

    Judgemental …..or Comapssion…what world do you wnat to live in!?!?!

  17. ~kat says:

    I was a teenage mother and I’m appalled just by the two comments above. First off, MacKenzie I give you high regard for wanting to play and to be concerned enough at her young age for her future and the future of her unborn child. For the first commenter, whether a player is injured during extra curricular activities or not the school is not held responsible. There is an extra sports insurance policy the family can purchase. Second, all she would have to do is sign a waiver which stated the school isn’t responsible for any sports related injury. There is a sports doctor which is required now at most schools and could pull her from the game if she is getting too aggressive.

    Your comment about her being “immature” is uncalled for. It’s no different than a 60+ year old woman giving birth which is irresponsible and just as immature. Many of us teen mother’s have had to struggle thru extremely hard times. Finishing high school is the first one. Next is financial and finally going back to college. Clearly this girl wants it all. Wants to be a mom, complete school, go off to college and raise her child.

    Who are any of you to take that dream away?

    By the age of 19 I had 2 children and was a high school drop out. Everyone told me I was going to amount to nothing because I got pregnant too young. Now I’m 38 have 5 children, 3 grandchildren and own my own home (mortgage free). I work non-stop for the most reputable social media advertising companies all thanks to my determination and all those people telling me I couldn’t do it. I went back got my college degree and continue every day to be a bigger better person than those who told me I couldn’t.

    So MacKenzie … go for the GOLD! Continue with school, continue to fight to play whatever sport you so chose, raise your child with pride and dignity and graduate from college. It’s not going to be easy but like a quote from Arnold Schwarzenegger says “Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength. ”

    I’ll be praying for you MacKenzie!

  18. Ferren says:

    And we wonder why many schools kick out pregnant teens. How ridiculous is this? I agree that this is a no-win for the school, she plays, and the baby gets hurt, school gets sued. As a volleyball player myself, she can’t avoid all hits the volleyball could make. I agree w/ Ashley, just someone looking for someone else to pay their way through life.

  19. Joyce says:

    SIT HER DOWN!! Glad someone had some sense. She has already proven to be careless, and from this issue, is again being careless. But, this choice could affect the unborn child. SIT HER DOWN!

  20. Jennifer says:

    As a parent I would not allow her to play. For her safety & the babies. If she was so worried about her scholarship what was she doing having sex to begin with? She should sit out. The school is only protecting themselves. Can you blame them? If I were them I would have done the same thing. She now has a baby coming. She better learn real quick thats it’s not about her anymore. It’s about that baby. As far as the scholarship is concerned unless she has a great support system in place college for her may not happen. She is going to have to work her butt off to now get what she wants. Good luck to her. Unfortunatly she will need it.

  21. Jude says:

    Baby first. She is very selfish to even consider the fact that expectant mothers should not be playing BASKETBALL or any other physical sport. And what DR in his right mind would allow her to play? Injuries are serious in this sport and no pregnant woman should be pushed, shoved, or fall on a basketball court.

    Just plain Selfish. If you really want your baby to be happy and healthy give it to someone else to raise!! I thought I had heard and seen everything but this takes the cake. Where are her parents in all of this? They have to be smarter than this at least one would hope so!

  22. Ashley says:

    I have to agree that the school made the best decision! When Mackenzie chose to keep her baby, she chose to put her unborn child’s interest above her own. As a mother, that is what you do. While she had a note from her doctor stating she could play, there is no way that the coach could have promised she would not have to “dive too aggressively for balls and land on her stomach”.
    While not being able to play may have cost her a college scholarship, there are other ways to pay for college and now is a good time to look into those options.

  23. Kim says:

    As far as her being ‘careless’, that may not be the case. Sure sex comes with being responsible, but its completely possible she used birth control, no birth control is 100%. Personally I think even 17 is too young for sex, but the sad truth is that kids are starting earlier these days and that scares me to death considering I have 2 girls and 2 boys with my oldest child being a 13 yr old girl. The story I read about a week ago said that her coach went behind her back and told her teammates that she was pregnant. The coach seems to be a bit immature. If the coach’s plan was to bench her regardless, then her teammates did not need to be notified of her situation. A lot of pregnant women play sports to a point when pregnant, and DR.’s even encourage it if it’s a healthy pregnancy. And if the school was afraid of a lawsuit, benching her doesn’t solve anything as she could just as easily sue due to a number of things, (stair accident, crowded hallways, wet floor) so I doubt that was a factor. I do not condone teenage sex/pregnancy, but it happened and can’t be undone. But to say that if you choose the action then you choose the consequence is unfair, if you choose the action of driving a car that does not mean you choose to be in an accident.

  24. Robin Davis says:

    I agree with Ashley!! If she was so “concerned” why have sex & get pregnant? Can’t get a scholarship like that!! #1 There are soo many liabilities the school would have it’s not even funny. #2 I don’t blame the school!! She should get over it!!

  25. Dorinda says:

    Feel free to use my comment. I wish I would have had Dr. Phil when my husband and me went through this almost 5 years ago. Teen pregnancy is not an easy thing to deal with. Our minds were in a fog, we were embarrassed, disappointed with our son (I hated him, I really did) he was ready to graduate high school in a month, applied and accepted into mechanical school that was out of state (that was called off, he had a baby to take care of) …. life was shook upside down for a very long time. Even though things were rough, our son took the bull by the horns, stood up to responsibility and took on his duty. He broke up with the girl, wasn’t there for her pregnancy (I was), the baby was born they got back together for 4 months and broke the relationship off totally. Things got ugly with the mother and her family, we had to take her to court to establish his rights… WHAT A STRESSFUL/emotional MESS that was! I thought I’d die before I made it through. We would not trade our grandson for anything in the world and we are proud to call our son, “son” for holding up to responsibility. There’s always a BUT, we have to fight him to see our grandson because it seems like his girlfriend and her family come before us. This is very upsetting to us. AAAAAARGH!

  26. Elena Marie says:

    As a seventeen year old athlete, I feel she should have been benched. It was unsafe for her and her baby. She should of been more concerned with playing volleyball, then having sex in the first place.

  27. Tracy S says:

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME!

    Its funny how somepeople chose to blame others for their mistakes. In this case the girl is blamming the coach and the school because she probably won’t get a scholarship now. She should of thought of that before she had sex and got pregnant. Her parents should have stepped up and said she could not play while she was pregnant. It should never even goto court.

  28. FosterBoys says:

    I agree with most of the posters. If she was so worried about her scholarship she shouldn’t have gotten pregnant. Is she going to keep the baby? Because if she does, life really isn’t about her anymore. Strange that she doesn’t seem to get that. Maybe she plans to give the baby up. In that case, maybe she doesn’t care what happens to it. Who knows? OK, well, I guess she does.

  29. Lee says:

    The bottom line is not the safety. This is a competition and she no longer is as good a player. She is also a distraction now for her teammates.

    It’s a sad reality that it is the girl who pays the price for unwanted pregnancy, and precautions should have been taken. She can’t play competitively until her baby is born.

    If this was her life path, she should have remained focussed on all of the angles, and that means a condom.

  30. tborman says:

    While I agree that a getting pregnant while still in high school should not derail her life and that she can overcome this upstacle I agree with the coach and school district for benching this teen. I think that the high schooler and the coach would have a life of hurt and regrets if she played and something would happen. Forget the legal aspects (whether they are there or not) the emotional aspect is more than I would want to wager.

    I am a mother of 3 and was not a teen mother but would not even thnk of participating in a sport that could damage my unborn child.

    Sorry, the fact that she is benched could cost her a college spots scholarship. These are rare anyway, she would be a better mom if she puts her child first and making sure that the child has as much of a healthy start as possible. Look for scholarships for teen moms or the federal and state grants for school.

    This baby deserves a chance at life more than this teen deserves a college scholarship.

  31. MAGGIE says:

    I work in the FWISD! I stand behind the coach and the school. The student needs to be responsible. The worst part is the mother is encouraging her to be against the school. What they need to realize, once a person is pregnant, the baby comes first and that includes safety and health.
    What happend to parents being a good example?

  32. Ghostwheel says:

    Bottom line: If she cannot play as well pregnant as she could non-pregnant, then the coach can bench her or not as benefits the team. No one will argue that the best players play most often, and if someone has a sprained wrist, they don’t play. If you cannot dig for the ball and land on your stomach, if you cannot risk being hit in the stomach, if you cannot perform as if you have no injury, you don’t play. That’s like saying a teen should be able to play football with a broken collarbone if the doctor writes a note that says he/she can play as long as the opposing team does not tackle them. That’s foolish.

  33. Bob says:

    Based on the information provided, I think the coach did the prudent thing. The coach is between a rock and a hard place. What if she hadn’t been benched and ended up having a miscarriage? I don’t know – it’s a tough call, but I think you have to go with safety first. I don’t think this is discrimination. At some point this young mother-to-be is going to have to realize that you can’t have it all, no matter how unfair that might seem.

  34. Sherri says:

    Had the school let her play and something happened to her or her unborn child she would be in court filing a suit blaming the school for it. The school is in a no win situation. The school had every right to do what they did. The first priority is her health and safety not her scholarship she may or may not have gotten!

  35. JulieE says:

    I was a teenage mom in Ft. Worth, Tx. and I went to a school just for pregnant girls. We were expected to participate in ALL PE activities until one young lady went to spike over the net and landed hard on her rear causing contractions. I’m guessing that this young lady feels fine and dandy ut you never know what can happen in a game. I agree with most when I say she shouldn’t play while pregnant. Students shouldn’t get away with doing whatever they want in school. School is a place to learn, what would putting her out in a game teach? There are other ways to get scholarships and pay for college.

  36. Sherry Barnes says:

    Well like you say you could go both ways but she is putting her baby at risk and the school is at risk for letting her play. She is even hurting the team by playing, they would always be having to cover for her and protect her from the dives and bumping. I am not sure I would want her to play on my team because of that. She could not put in 100% because of her condition. And like some say, maybe she is looking for some money to sue for. And who would pick her for a scholarship watching her play not at 100%. so she would likely not get the scholarship. She is having to pay the consequence now. Maybe she will think twice before doing it again. Or maybe not. Some don’t think about others always about themselves.
    Then you could call it discrimination because just because she is pregnant does not mean you quit doing everything.
    So it could go both ways but i say keep her from playing to protect her and others.

  37. ~kat says:

    Why is it everyone here thinks “she” was careless? How do you know “she” wasn’t raped and chose to keep it? How do you know both individuals didn’t use protection?

    I just love how grown adults think like children and always blame the girl.

  38. Shelley says:

    I see nothing wrong with benching her until a doctor’s note was obtained. The school has to protect itself against the liability of her suing if she miscarried while playing a sport. If the opposite situation occurred, that is that they let her play without a doctor’s permission while pregnant, she might have been able to sue them had she miscarried. It would not have been fair or right of her to do so, but it is an option she might have exercised.

    I see this as I do any other possibly dangerous thing a woman might do while pregnant – the woman’s doctor should be consulted and the activity undertaken or not based on the doctor’s recommendation. Because the doctor in this case gave permission with some caveats about diving for the ball, etc., then I think they ought to let her play.

    I personally would not play competitive volleyball while pregnant, but that is the choice she is making, with her doctor’s permission. She ought to be allowed to make that choice.

  39. sharon says:

    I thik the sport she is playing she should stop like everone said she could fall and get hurt her thing is if she wanted to stay in sports why?

  40. Joyce says:

    I agree with the other views here… The coach did the right thing and what we have here is a pregnant teen and her parents out to make a few quick bucks… Any person in their right mind would not want to take the chance on harming their baby in any way and there is no safe way to play volleyball without putting that baby in danger. And like someone else said, if the coach did let her play and something happened to the baby she would sue for that….. And any doctor worth a grain of salt would never ever have written a note saying it was ok for her to play this very aggressive game while she was pregnant… That dr was out of his mind…

  41. Catch 22. If she’d fallen and injured herself and the baby then she’d likely be suing doctor and school about that. Everyone has a point here yet the biggest point I saw here was her need to be accountable for not getting pregnant in the first place, now, that came before school’s decision. Quite frankly, I’m surprised she got a doctor’s approval.

    This is a prime example of sacrifices made by parents to care for their child BEFORE conception by WAITING if not ready for responsibility. Sex for recreation is a double edge sword hurting us all. SEX IS REPRODUCTION.

    Sex act itself confused for love neglects the FACT that it isn’t loving to have sex that could result in a child or STD’s unless ready for that VERY REAL possibility… IF not ready to PROVIDE for child before CONCEPTION. Not just be ready in one’s own imaginings and ready in reality. Love comes before, during and after sex.

    It is NEVER loving to have risky sex whether risking multiple partners or w/o protection. Don’t have sex because don’t want to hurt person’s feelings you don’t want to or to prove you love person or because someone says you lost right to NO since aren’t a virgin… prove you love yourself. Ladies begin taking care of those babies before EVER having sex by embracing your right to say NO if you know that you know you, he or the time isn’t right. If you want a scholarship in sports… the time isn’t right.

    IF U have an STD test after each person, like I did, you’ll slow down. PLUS you owe it to new partner and owe to yourself to demand other person be tested, too. Sex can be making love when done lovingly by persons who are prepared for ALL the responsibilities including but not limited to pregnancy. Being responsible is loving and being sexually irresponsible isn’t sexy or loving in any shape or form and makes life hard. It is the four letter word: RISK.

    Sex Education needs to be changed to REPRODUCTION EDUCATION simply because first and foremost that’s what sex is: REPRODUCTION!

    I see TEENS point and I see the school’s point yet that’s the bigger point that we need Emotional and Life Skill Education K-12 to teach life is like economics: choice. Having SEX is NOT just LOVE or FUN & has a whole lot of consequences that more times that not brings 20/20 hindsight: “What was I thinking? I wasn’t” Morning after pill? Abortion? How sad and hard we make life on ourselves and others.

    (I can trace back MOST my troubles to a time in want of a better choice BY ME and THE BUCK STOPS HERE.) Sure sometimes I’ve played the blame game yet quite often that finger ends up pointed in my own face. I do best to think… “What could I have done differently” as I cannot control others. Sometimes another’s choices DO affect us like choices being made now affect teen’s baby.

    Well, not feeling well and need to lie down. Clicked on your blog link on my menu bar by accident.

    My apologies for any off the wall comments I’ve ever made on Dr. Phil blog/website etc. as likely under the weather or stressed, like now… as I’m not trying to be judgmental or playing guilt trips here… I know saying, “There’s an exception to every rule.” As well, sometimes reading others comments my opinion changes or morphs with new influx of info yet comment I already made hasn’t. Hope all of us listen to our better judgment that I think we all have BEFORE life gets complicated from not using better judgment. If teen raped… IDK Well not feeling well and in desperate need of help from at THE DOCTORS so anyone who sees this please pray THE DOCTORS TV or DR. PHIL help me soon. THANK YOU.

  42. LindaRH says:

    Sit her down. She may not understand it now, but one day she will.

  43. Teunnee says:

    I know and understand that unplanned pregnancies happen. Its time for her to start thinking more about her baby and whats best for her baby. Im sure that even a teen can see that the school did what was best. Also I admire her for wanting to continue her education but maybe she needs to realize she needs to find another method of achieving her goals. While her goals are achievable, she needs to find another plan.

  44. Aaron Winchester says:

    I’m sorry, but I really feel her suit has no merit. Isn’t it the job of persons put in authority of children to make decisions that are in their best interests, especially when the minor does understand the consequences? I would probably think that her pregnancy alone put her scholarship into jeopardy. I admired a teen you had on your show in the recent year when he stated he wasn’t going to have sex because he wanted to go to college. I feel children are blessings in the right time and feel this teen girl didn’t not know the opportunity cost for having sex with the other goals she had set for herself. With that, I feel she didn’t and may still not know the consequences of straining exercise while pregnant and why the school administration stepped up, as her parents should have. Additionally, so what if she didn’t get a volleyball scholarship. There are plenty of other scholarships out there she’ll qualify for. Too, the end result is getting a higher education and with self discipline, she will be able to achieve that goal, which I’m guessing was the focus of the scholarship.

  45. Patty Sanderson says:

    IYes I think she should be benched, what if she had fallen or was hit there while she is pregnant then that could cause preterm labour or cause damage to the baby, and if she wanted to be pregnant then she shoudl have that much compassion to keep her baby safe.

  46. margie bolton says:

    I dont blame them in a way,wanting a note from a doctor,then their would be a lawsuit if something happened..no win situation..

  47. Susan Sacca says:

    Dear Dr Phil,

    I believe “school policy” or the coach were looking out for the best interest of the unborn baby. I also think they were looking out for the “other players too!”
    and finally the teenager who is indeed pregnant!

    God forbid anything would happen to that sweet innocent GIFT FROM GOD!~

    I placed myself on the Volleyball court

    I would feel like my whole world would have crumbled if I by accident “banged a ball” and it hit her stomach caused her to go into premature labor, her water broke or caused something terrible to happen to her unborn child.

    What if I banged into her knocked her down and she landed on her stomach?

    Yes everyone has rights, She has rights her team mates have rights, The other team has rights but most important and the one who can not speak her unborn baby has the highest rights and we need to speak for her child. This soon to be “mother” seems in

    I M O only focusing on HER NEEDS AND HER RIGHTS and DR PHIL YOU are always right about the development of a childs brain not being fully developed until mid 20’s! Lets face it DR PHIL you are always right!

    This teenager I M O believes she can have her cake and eat it too but in the REAL WORLD when you do an action there is a REACTION and when you get pregnant YOUR BABY and THAT BABY’s needs come first and foremost and so what if your scholarship is denied. Perhaps this teenager should have thought about that prior to her having sex and then we all wouldnt be having this debate.
    This is what I think regarding this blog Dear Dr Phil!
    xox
    S

  48. BC says:

    Goodness I’m reading some of your comments and (as a 19 year old mother to an 11 month old) ya’ll make me sound like some kind of monster. In regards to college I am going and about to receive my associates in may, so I do not think a child should hold you back from college if your truly dedicated, many women use children as an excuse not to go. If the college doesn’t grant her a scholarship because she had a baby then she should be suing the college not the high school. If she still has the athletic ability after the baby then by all means she should be able to try out as a walk on to the team. She should not play while pregnant though.

  49. kell says:

    The bottom line of this case is that it is unsafe to play a sport while pregnant. It has nothing to do with the fact that she is seventeen other then it is a highschool team, if she was on and olympic team it would be the same .. or even a recreational mid-week pick-up league team, rules are part of sports for a reason; safety. Many things can stop a player from being part of a team for his/her safety or for others around them, some medical some not. If you are bleeding you are to be off the court/field until wrapped, if you had your appendix out you would be benched for several weeks, etc. If she has decided to fight, the decision she is immature, now I do not think that all teenage moms are immature, yet she is showing through her actions that she is.

  50. N.B. (1)

    By “Morning after pill? Abortion? How sad and hard we make life on ourselves and others.” I didn’t mean morning after pill or abortion as an option I’d choose… To me, a baby is a baby from moment of conception. I meant all the above byproducts of RISKY behavior makes life MORE stressful than JUST NOT PUTTING SELF IN THAT POSITION IN THE FIRST PLACE. For aren’t just putting self in that position and innocent baby, too.

    Guys if you believe in abortion and woman doesn’t don’t force on her as I know a woman still devastated about doing as guy insisted… instead of how she felt plus real possibility once pregnant could decide wants baby. I don’t think any guy ever making advances at me ever asked, “Are you using protection and if you got pregnant would you get an abortion?”

    I’ve heard of a lot of guys asking woman to get an abortion as if as easy as returning a book to the library. Too, many lie would want then get real nasty about demanding woman getting an abortion. So gals make guy aware “if I get pregnant I’m keeping baby.” That’s just it… people are often having sex before THINKING or PLANNING and taking undue RISKS to be spontaneous.

    Not sure if study accurate yet in 60’s, pre t-back bathing suit phenomenon, there was a TV advisory for young women to not dress suggestively because men 7 times more easily sexually aroused than women. So women you DO have a right to say NO and might be the main one with enough sense left to say NO if things get hot and heavy. Guy might get mad (throw tantrum) yet kids get mad in a toy store if can’t have the most expensive toy and will live if don’t get their way. As a woman… you and your babies are priceless to be cherished and loved making the best decisions to last a life time.

    Guys and gals you have a right to say NO. And guys don’t count on women using protection and abstain or always wear a condom because of women who piggyback off the backs of babies for child support and assistance. No, not all women… yet a TV news magazine had a story about teen girls wanting to get pregnant because can get assistance and have own place. The DNA stories on TV shows to see who dad is are sad and there need to be laws requiring STD testing before EACH new relationship. Again, if persons got tested for STD’s after each SEXUAL relationship and demanded proof from next person that had indeed been tested many would cool their heels.

    Lets just put it this way. I know someone with two roomers (roomers in his house) working at Taco Bell as managers (managers) who can only afford a $300 a month room in a house because of paying child support to person raising their children. And yet I APPLAUD them for stepping up to the plate to pay child support.

    Guys IF you don’t want to spend the rest of your life with a woman or her to have your children don’t RISK it. Be honest and say so so she can save herself for the person who does… And vice versa… There’s no escaping DNA and the click of mouse to quickly find persons, now, and that’s a good thing in many ways. Your pay and/or tax return will be DOCKED for child support for 18 years.

    A child DESERVES parents who are happy, stable and happy about child’s arrival and are PREPARED. Sort out family and personal problems FIRST. BTW: Gals can have their pay docked too by whoever has custody. I am 100% for law that it isn’t a right to have children it is a privilege, greater than driving a car, that should require a license and insurance BEFORE doing just like owning and driving a car does.

    First find out who YOU are and what you want in life and realize ANYONE you have sex with could wind up the parent of your child. ARE YOU READY FOR THAT? See sex is reproduction and it is time BABIES stop paying the price for the reproductive irresponsibility of many persons in the world.

    Plan B’s are just that… not what you first had in mind whether a scholarship etc. Yet with a plan A-(abstaining) from RISKY behavior with a responsible Plan A we wouldn’t need a Plan B. Suing for tuition to college I suppose is a Plan B to a scholarship. One country proposed fining parents $5,000 for becoming pregnant as a way to discourage pregnancy. Pregnancy IS beautiful when everyone is ready and, to me, that’s every child’s right for everyone to be ready like everyone is wearing huge happy smiles awaiting the birth of Erica’s baby. It’s every parents’ right too. A lot less stressful to people and earth too and especially a lot less stressful to the babies… ideally speaking. There’s more than one way to get down the street yet if I think I see a better way I say… often from learning the hard way.

    Pardon typos as blurry vision from adverse effect to Bactrim and makes me dizzy to proof. I really just meant to make my opening clarification about. I was recently looking to see if Buckner Orphanage takes donations besides cash as I have some things to donate so a little sensitive about babies arriving unplanned for who pick up the tab of irresponsible reproductive activity that isn’t sexy and puts children at risk.

    N.B. (2)
    BC… EXCELLENT COMMENT you made some good points and your efforts are commendable and congrats on Associates Degree. All the best to you and your 11 month old… always! All the best to volley ball teen and y’all’s babies. I wish everyone multi-tasking college and motherhood and work all the best. It benefits us all for us all to succeed in our positive endeavors.

    Generally speaking doesn’t always mean everyone yet does sound that way… I’m stressed due to vision loss after taking Bactrim so… take what I say with a cyber grain of salt as just my opinion at this moment with everyone else entitled to their own. Hopefully, from there a better today and tomorrow can be built for us all with us each making our best choices to last a life time.

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