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New Law Will Help Teen Moms Stay In School

DENVER (CBS4)- Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a bill into law on Thursday that will help teen moms stay in school by waiving previously required legal action for child support.

Jazelle Aldridge came to Florence Crittenton High School when she was 14 years old and four months pregnant.

"It is here that I have constantly heard people say they believe in me," said Alddge. "Even when I didn't believe in myself."

(credit: CBS)

It was at the school that she was able to access child care assistance without first going to court to get child support.

"You need to now enter the legal system and establish paternity, go after legal action for custody and child support all so you can just get child care assistance to finish high school, often becomes an insurmountable hurdle that these girls just are unable to take on," said Florence Crittenton Board Member Cindy Sovine-Miller.

Jazelle Aldridge (credit: CBS)

Sovine-Miller waived that hurdle for teen moms at Florence Crittenton High School, which has a child care facility on campus. But there weren't enough spots for all the teen moms who needed it. Those whose kids didn't get in were dropping out of school.

The school lobbied lawmakers to waive the court requirement for all teen moms no matter where they go to school.

(credit: CBS)

"Because of our community and legislators voting and approving this bill, I feel so positive for the future of teen parents across the state," said Alridge.

Aldrige's son Theo sat on Hickenlooper's lap as he signed the bill into law on Thursday.

Jazelle's son sat on Gov. John Hickenlooper's lap during the bill signing (credit: CBS)
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