Teen Baby Boom in a Mass. High School
The 17 pregnant teens reportedly hope to raise their babies together.
June 20, 2008 — -- Strollers and sippy cups will replace pencil cases and backpacks as the must-have back-to-school items for more than a dozen pregnant Gloucester High School students next year.
School officials confirm at least 17 students at the Massachusetts high school are pregnant and they may have been part of what is being called a pregnancy pact.
One girl even reportedly had sex with a 24-year-old homeless man to fulfill her pledge, according to a report in Time magazine.
"I heard some of the kids were pleased as punch at the results," said Greg Verga, chairman of the Gloucester School Committee.
That's the rumor anyway — a rumor given credence by an interview that Gloucester High School principal Joseph Sullivan gave to Time, in which he described a pact entered into by the girls to get pregnant and raise their babies together. The apparent pact might explain the four-fold increase in teen pregnancies at the school this year.
Rumors aside, one thing that is true is that you don't have to walk very far in Gloucester to find an unwed teenage mother. Baby-faced teens pushing baby carriages seem to be everywhere in this blue-collar town. At the local McDonald's, in a matter of minutes three teenage moms showed up with strollers and babies in tow to form a little impromptu playgroup in the parking lot.
Seventeen-year-old Alivia showed off her 5-month-old bundle of joy, Xavier. She said her pregnancy was unplanned and that she wasn't part of any pact, although she isn't surprised by the news. "That's just Gloucester," she said.
Teen mom Amanda proudly mentions that baby William is 2 months old today and adds that the other girls may have been motivated to get pregnant because "they see all the girls doing it, and they see the attention they get."
And finally, 17-year-old Meaghan, whose 3-month-old boy is snoozing in a nearby carriage, quietly offers this advice to teens tempted to embrace motherhood instead of math class: "Don't do it, don't get pregnant."
But another Gloucester student, 16-year-old Alycia Mazzeo, said getting pregnant was a decision she will never regret.
"Pregnancy is a beautiful thing," said Mazzeo, "It was an unplanned blessing for me."