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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

August 22, 2014 at 11:36 AM

Applauding Sandra Kleven, expelled pregnant student who finally received diploma

Sandra Kleven is a true success story, and I applaud her accomplishments [“A half-century after high school, Bothell student gets her diploma,” Local News, Aug. 17].

I too went to school at a time when a girl who got pregnant was kicked out of school, as if her condition was contagious. Of course, the baby’s father was allowed to stay in school without penalty.

Two girls at my high school got pregnant. Both married the fathers of their babies, but neither marriage lasted. Like Kleven, one girl managed to get an education despite the odds; but without a diploma, the other’s life was ruined.

Society punished these girls. It just threw them away. They deserved so much better treatment than they got from the school system, or from society in general.

Sadly, little seems to have changed in the past 50 years. Rulings like the Hobby Lobby decision still punish women for their biological ability to bear children, and conservatives still oppose sex education in the schools.

As you see, my family name is also Cleven, though spelled differently, and Sandra and I are not related. However, I would be proud and honored if she were part of my family.

Carol Cleven Lake, Kirkland

Comments | Topics: diversity, higher education, women

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