As summer vacation begins, 17 girls at Gloucester High School are expecting babies—more than four times the number of pregnancies the 1,200-student school had last year. Some adults dismissed the statistic as a blip. Others blamed hit movies like Juno and Knocked Up for glamorizing young unwed mothers. But principal Joseph Sullivan knows at least part of the reason there's been such a spike in teen pregnancies in this Massachusetts fishing town. School officials started looking into the matter as early as October after an unusual number of girls began filing into the school clinic to find out if they were pregnant. By May, several students had returned multiple times to get pregnancy tests, and on hearing the results, "some girls seemed more upset when they weren't pregnant than when they were," Sullivan says. All it took was a few simple questions before nearly half the expecting students, none older than 16, confessed to making a pact to get pregnant and raise their babies together. Then the story got worse. "We found out one of the fathers is a 24-year-old homeless guy," the principal says, shaking his head.
Great.... couldn't they have made this pact to work on this between 20-25 at least? ..... At least would give them time to reflect
The question of what to do next has divided this fiercely Catholic enclave. Even with national data showing a 3% rise in teen pregnancies in 2006—the first increase in 15 years—Gloucester isn't sure it wants to provide easier access to birth control.
Umm... they may be looking at this as a more community thing then this school, but providing easier access to birth control to teens *trying* to get pregnant... un huh. You have to do more than provide easier access to birth control sillies, its a little more deep (or shallow?) then that.... ahh, they at least mention that at the end...
Gloucester's elected school committee plans to vote later this summer on whether to provide contraceptives. But that won't do much to solve the issue of teens wanting to get pregnant. Says rising junior Kacia Lowe, who is a classmate of the pactmakers': "No one's offered them a better option." And better options may be a tall order in a city so uncertain of its future.
Um? No ones offered them a better option? For what? Financial Stability? Educational Opportunity? How is a baby, or seventeen
going to help that? Maybe I'm just to logical/rational a person, I don't think emotionally...
Ireland, 18, gave birth her freshman year and says some of her now pregnant schoolmates regularly approached her in the hall, remarking how lucky she was to have a baby. "They're so excited to finally have someone to love them unconditionally," Ireland says. "I try to explain it's hard to feel loved when an infant is screaming to be fed at 3 a.m."
Is this what they don't have an opportunity for? Love? Good luck trying to find time to develop self love, or romantic love, with a young child in your life at such a young age, and all the other logistical problems that will cause. Not that I don't think its possible, but I just can't understand their thought process.... much less the group thing/peer pressure to get into it together (is this more along sisterly-love, we are all going to get into this, and out of it, together... ), but then I was so not a conformist in high-school and not since either... Never understood the need to go to the bathroom in groups either... maybe thats why I didn't have many friends in high school! One couldn't have paid me 10 000 bucks to do this!
Rules for surviving an Autocracy:
Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.
- Masha Gessen