At this Texas school, every student is a teen mother

At Lincoln Park High School, all the students, like Helen, are pregnant or expecting mums

At the end of a year in which motherhood has been at the centre of impassioned debate in the US, a school in Texas for teenage mothers shows how young lives are being supported – and reshaped.

It was early 2021, and Helen had been eating more than usual.

The soon-to-be 15-year-old couldn’t explain why her appetite had seemed to grow so much.

“Is this normal?” she asked her older sister. It could be, her sister suggested.

But Helen had also been moody and would easily find herself picking fights with family and friends. Then her period was late.

On her birthday, she learned she was pregnant.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Helen said.

Soon, her friends shunned her, accusing her of using her pregnancy to “get guys” and the father of her child, a classmate, stopped talking to her.

“I didn’t want to be fighting with them,” Helen said.

Finally, near the end of her pregnancy, she decided to switch schools.

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