Baby drowned in jr. high bathroom toilet

April 2, 2008 6:02:54 PM PDT
A 14-year-old Houston-area girl gave birth to a full-term baby in a bathroom at her junior high school on Wednesday, then tried to flush it down the toilet, killing the infant, police said. "The baby was alive when it was born," said Lt. Eric Freed with the Baytown Police Department. "The girl attempted to flush the child down the toilet, and the child died as a result."

As 12, 13, 14 year olds leave school, their parents are just beginning to learn the shocking news. A 14-year-old classmate gave birth in the school bathroom and, according to police, tried to flush the baby down the toilet.

"I was a single parent for 11 years," said Heather Kennington. "When you're put in that position, when you think that you can't go to your parents and tell them, that's scary."

Police the girl gave birth around 10:45am. A fellow student notified the school nurse that the teenager needed help. By the time paramedics arrived, the baby was pronounced dead.

Goose Creek ISD spokesperson Kathy Claussen said, "According to everyone I talked to, no one knew she was pregnant."

The teenager is now recovering at a local hospital. While the investigation continues, parents like Neris Ibarra are sympathetic. She became a mother at 14, and her son now attends the same school.

She said, "Maybe she was scared. She's young, but then she should be responsible, because she did what she did."

"They need to do more to educate the kids," suggested parent Tiffany Foy. "They don't think about the consequences of their actions."

School officials say they will have additional counselors on hand. They add that there is already a process in place to help students.

"There is help for students," Claussen told Eyewitness News. "We do have a program in the district, and we just have to hope that this doesn't happen again."

The district has a program for teenage mothers. As for sex education, school administrators say they do not have a sex ed program, per se, but they do have an abstinence-based program that they teach to junior high and high school students.

Baytown police are treating this as a homicide investigation. The girl is being examined at San Jacinto Methodist Hospital in Baytown. She has not yet been interviewed by officers.

The body has been sent to the Harris County Medical Examiner's Office where an autopsy is scheduled Thursday to determine the cause and manner of death. Authorities did not immediately release the gender of the baby.

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