Legislative committee discusses bill to make parenting classes mandatory

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Baton Rouge State Representative Regina Barrow, D-Baton Rouge, says she is planning on introducing legislation that will mandate teen parents take a parenting class that teaches them how to raise children.

"There are a lot of questions that need to be answered that we are working on," says Barrow. "Hopefully within the next month or so there will be more answers that I can provide. But my intent is to target teen mothers."

But her issue is bringing more questions than answers. Such as who will pay and who will have to attend the classes. "I thought about what would be the penalty if an individual decided they didn't want to go to that (the classes) and I'm not quite sure what that would be because it all depends on how we structure the legislation. If you're targeting individuals who are receiving assistance...so do you penalize them with their assistance or if it's individuals who are not receiving assistance but they are a teen parent. So do you fine them? So those are the kinds of questions I'll be looking into, says Barrow.

When asked why she thought now was the time for this new legislation. She says the times have changed.

"When I was young there was a great pool of a great village of individuals who could help me raise the child. Today the parents are young, their grandmothers are young. The community has changed a lot you don't have the village to assist you to raise a child. It's changed drastically in terms of who's there to help," says Barrow.

Barrow chairs the Family Preservation study committee which met on Wednesday.

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