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Tinley Park Blows 16 And Pregnant Opportunity

"MTV's controversial show 16 and Pregnant [link mine] is unwelcome in Tinley Park, as village officials and school leaders have pushed back against possible filming in the community," the Tribune reports.

"When Tinley Park Mayor Ed Zabrocki heard the show might be shooting at the 80th Avenue train station's restaurant, he sent word to the owner of Parmesans Station that the show's cameras would be unwelcome on Tinley property.

"I heard wind of it, and that's when I went and said, 'I don't want any of our village buildings used in it," Zabrocki said.

Memo to Zabrocki: Village buildings are public property.

*

"Michael Papandrea, who licenses space at the train station from Tinley Park and owns a separate Parmesans location in Frankfort, said MTV filmed a dinner segment between the teen and her mother at the restaurant's Frankfort location.

"When he was approached about filming at his restaurant, Papandrea said he had the same initial reaction as Zabrocki.

"But he changed his mind after giving the matter further consideration, reasoning that the show has a positive effect on teenage pregnancies, he said."

Good for Papandrea. I occasionally watch the show and each time I do it makes me think that the last thing I'd want as a teenager is to become pregnant. The challenges are enormous, which is made quite clear, and the kids are in no way ready to have children. Yet, some of them do and we watch them cope as best they can. It's the real deal.

*

"In 2010, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy found that most teens 'agree that when a TV show or character they like deals with teen pregnancy, it makes them think more about their own risk of getting pregnant or causing a pregnancy and how to avoid it.'

"Zabrocki said he has only ever watched part of one episode, featuring a mother arguing with her daughter about baby sitting the grandchild."

Memo to Zabrocki: Not good enough. Inform your views.

*

"For Zabrocki, who worked for many years as a guidance counselor at Brother Rice High School, the show presents 'a bad image.'

"I think (it) glamorizes 16 and pregnant, and I don't think there's anything glamorous about it," Zabrocki said.

He said after watching part of a single episode.

*

"I have never seen the show, does it glorify teen pregnancy or does it show the ramifications and hardships?" Tribune commenter Ron Williams writes. "Does it promote getting pregnant or NOT to get pregnant? Seems to me these folks want to ban anything they aren't comfortable talking about."

*

"I don't think it glamorizes teen pregnancy, at all," Tribune commenter James Ess writes. "I think it shows how extremely difficult it is and how virtually NONE of the teen dads show much maturity or responsibility to be a father at that age. pretty much all of the situations end up horribly. I don't see how anyone would think teen pregnancy would be a good idea after watching this show. If I had a teen, I'd sit and watch it with them. It's quite a reality check."

*

Instead, Zabrocki and Andrew High School principal Bob Nolting turned MTV away. It could have been a teaching moment, no?

"Nolting said his wife enjoys the show and he has watched it with her, but he isn't a fan of the reality television genre.

"I don't think it reflects a real world context as much as the term 'reality TV' conveys," Nolting said.

That, too, could have been part of the lesson. A huge missed opportunity for the teens of Tinley Park and beyond.

-

Comments welcome.



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Posted on December 11, 2013


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