Traffickers lure teens through social media

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Traffickers lure teens through social media

Kenna Luttrell and Asia Hays, Staff Writer

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  Former student Lindsey Dolley thought she was going to the doctor for stomach problems. She didn’t know her world would soon be turned upside down with the news of a baby girl on the way. Feelings of uneasiness and fear swept over her, but she soon felt comfort as she realized she would be welcoming a life into this world.

   “At first, I was scared and shocked. People were asking me questions and telling me about the decisions I needed to make which completely overwhelmed me,” Lindsey said. “Once I got over the surprise, I was excited.”

   In January,  Lindsey found out she was pregnant with only a month and a half to prepare; add this on top of high school and the stress became overwhelming for her. 

    In 2017, 50 % of teen moms dropped out of high school and only 2 % of teen moms  go on to get a degree by 30. It is important to maintain good relationships with people who love, support and can help you to make a future for not only yourself but your child. Not so surprisingly, 44 % of teenagers don’t know what they want to do after graduation.

    Lindsey was one of these students until she found out she was expecting a baby girl.

     “It was hard to get up and go to school because I was so tired, but it actually motivated me to figure out what I wanted to do for a career,” Lindsey said. “I plan to go to college and get my bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders and then pursue my masters.

    As a high schooler, life is a lot like a fish bowl. Add being a pregnant teen to the mix, and it causes a lot of people to talk, which was Karen Barrett’s, Lindsey’s mother, biggest fear.

    “It was very upsetting because I knew students and faculty were talking about her and I couldn’t protect her,” Barrett said.

    Becoming a parent at any age means putting your own wants on hold and making your child the top of your list of worries.

    “She had to make really tough decisions about her priorities,” Karen said. “She gave up school activities and replaced them with work and being a mom.”

    As a teenager, you look forward to all the fun of senior year: football games, homecoming, prom, and so much more. For Lindsey, her senior year was centered around her daughter Lucy Dolley.

    “The first pep rally she attended her senior year was tough,” Karen said. “All of her friends were cheering and she was in the stands with her baby. She cried most of the time.”

     A baby can change your school life, but it also affects your friendships.

    “All of my friends from school have almost completely disappeared from my life,” Lindsey said. “It’s just because our lives are completely different now.”

    When you first become pregnant there’s always a lot of attention on you, both good and bad, but afterwards people tend to drift away.

    “Everyone is ecstatic when you first find out you’re pregnant and when the baby is born,” Lindsey said. “But after that you’re on your own.”

   Not to mention the stress a baby adds to any relationship, let alone one so young. This was true for Lindsey when she began to see a new side of her boyfriend at the time and now husband, Bryan Dolley. 

    “It was hard on us, but it definitely brought us closer,” Lindsey said. “It challenged us in ways we had never been challenged before.”

    High school relationships have enough pressure, add a baby on to that and the situation may become more difficult as your choices begin to affect more than just you. 

    “Our decisions didn’t only affect us anymore,”Lindsey said. “They affected our baby too.”

   50 percent of pregnant teens have the baby, less than two percent put them up for adoption, and 45 percent have abortion, this is because teens often don’t know what route to take. For Lindsey, there was never a doubt in her mind that she would keep Lucy.

    “I never considered any other option except to have my baby  when I found out I was pregnant,” Lindsey said.

    Having a child at any age doesn’t have to hinder women from being successful or mean difficult decisions. Becoming a mother simply means choosing to love them above everything else. 

    “Being a mom is the best thing that ever happened to me,” Lindsey said. “I have never loved anyone like I love Lucy.”

    Lindsey Dolley says being a teen mother doesn’t mean your life is over. 

   “If I could give any advice to a teen mom, it would be to be in the moment with your child,” Lindsey said. “Everything else on your to do list can wait because they will never be this little again. Soak up every moment because the years go by so fast.”

(Names have been changed to protect the innocent.)