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Shreveport shoppers sound off on state lawmakers requiring parental classes

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KTBS) -

Couples have children everyday, but one Louisiana state representative wants parents to take a class before being allowed to raise them.

The idea to require parenting classes for each new parent in Louisiana came from Baton Rouge Representative Regina Barrow.

During the family prevention study committee meeting Wednesday she said she would like to see the classes mandatory for young parents-- 20 years old or younger.

"We already have several different statutes that relates to parenting education," said Barrow. "But I was unable to get the information as it relates to the specifics of each particular statute."

Barrow admitted the idea is still in its infancy, and a lot more research needs to be done.

But most of Shreveport shoppers liked the idea.

I myself, am a parent of four children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. A lot of things that I'm learning now I didn't know when they were small," said Delois Lewis. "I think it's really a great thing to have the parenting classes."

"I don't think it ought to be over bearing, but I think parents ought to have the basics of how to care for their children before they take that child home," said Harold Hay. "That's a defenseless child."

"Depending on the person, you should have to take a parenting class because some people were not raised around children so they don't necessarily know how to take care of them," said Hope Lloyd.

"I disagree with how other people raise their children," said Christina Greer. "I don't think everyone agrees with how I raise mine. I don't feel like someone should have the right to take that privilege away from me because they don't like the way I do it."

Barrow did find one statute in state law that already requires parenting classes for those who receive a type of public assistance, called FITAP. It provides cash to families with children when they don't have enough to provide basic needs.They must complete 18 hours of instruction in order to receive their money.

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