Monday, Nov. 03, 2008

Teen pregnancies in Gloucester

When 17 Gloucester High School students got pregnant during the school year that ended in June — more than four times the number of pregnancies the Massachusetts school had tallied the year before — principal Joseph Sullivan told TIME the spike was the result of a pact among a group of girls to get pregnant together. But the girls never came forward to tell their side of the story. And Gloucester mayor Carolyn Kirk said she and other officials were unable to confirm the existence of "a blood-oath bond" to get pregnant. The controversy led to Sullivan's resignation and to a policy change at the school: condoms and birth control pills, unavailable at the school health clinic prior to the uproar, can be now be distributed to students confidentially as long as their parents don't object ahead of time.