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A pregnancy pact?
June 24, 2008 - Jody Murphy
By now you may or may not have heard about the alleged pregnancy pact among 17 girls at a high school in Gloucester, Mass.
The story, initially reported by Time magazine, interviewed the school's principal who said there was a pact between the girls to get pregnant at the same time and raise their kids together. The principal was also quoted as saying officials learned one of the fathers was a 24-year-old homeless man.
The story set off a international media firestorm with journalists and TV and radio crews from all over the world picking up item and seeking interviews.
All of the girls are believed to be under the age of 16. None of the girls - nor their parents - have been interviewed.
Monday, the town's mayor had a closed-door meeting with a number of town school and town officials - none of which were the school principal. Afterward the Mayor emerged and said there was was no alleged "pact."
The Mayor said the principal, who has declined to be interviewed since the Time article, is "foggy in his memory" as how he learned of such a pact.
There are a laundry list of problems with the story - none of which changes the fact that 17 high school girls, none of whom are older than 16, are pregnant.
When I first read the story, I was suspicious about the so-called pact. The reporter who wrote the story took the principal at his word. There is no verification what so ever.
The notion at least 17 girls were involved in some sort of pregnancy pact, while plausible, seems unlikely. And certainly worth verifying.
The fact a 24-year-old homeless man is one of the father's also hasn't been verified.
The good news is all 17 girls are still enrolled in school. The high school has a day-care program for kids with kids.
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