Georgia lawmakers ended the special session Thursday by recognising a guest that one of them brought into the halls. Representative Lauren Daniel (R-Locust Grove) went up to the podium with a baby strapped to her chest to thank Speaker Jon Burns and Pro Tem Jan Jones for understanding her dual job as a mother and lawmaker.
Before thanking the leaders, she said, “I have brought my son to the Capitol every day for the past two weeks, but I want to tell you why this is so important to me personally.”
A lawmaker just had her fourth child, Zane, and she brings him with her when she goes to different parts of the community for official political tasks. Although Zane’s time on the house floor may have felt more like a nap, it was a chance for his mom to discuss the path that led them both to that point.
Daniel told some of her stories about how she became a public worker and wanted to be known as an “unapologetic mom” and “common sense conservative” during her campaign. A high school senior, she found out she was pregnant with her first child when she was 17. Her son was born when she was starting her final year, she told the lawmakers.
She continued, “And school administrators told me I shouldn’t go to school in person any longer because I was a distraction.” “Even further, my counsellor advised me that there was no purpose in applying to college because less than 50 per cent of teenage mothers ever graduate high school, much less college.”
Daniel stated that she did not belong to that group. “However, not only did I finish high school on time, I am also part of the two per cent of teenage mothers who have gone on to earn a college degree before the age of 30,” she explained.
Susan Daniel graduated from Georgia State University with a bachelor’s degree in English, according to her campaign website. Though she wanted to be an English teacher someday, being a teen mother and getting her degree made her realise problems in the education system and ways that policies could be improved.
She introduced herself as the youngest woman in the Georgia House and a mother of four. She said she’s been through a lot and has survived many hardships. Others should know they can do it too.
“I hope my experiences will inspire any young female Georgian to trust and believe that her life does not end when a new one begins,” she explained.
In the player below, you can see her whole speech: