17 teenage girls at Glouscester High in Massachusetts are about to have a very abrupt and rude awakening due to the pregnancy pact these teen girls agreed to. A pregnancy pact made by a group of teens to get pregnant and raise their babies together is at least partly behind a sudden spike in pregnancies at Gloucester High School, school officials said.
Glouscester High’s Principal, Joseph Sullivan, told Time magazine in a story published on Wednesday that the girls confessed to making the pact after the school began investigating a rise in pregnancies that has left 17 girls at the school carrying a child. Normally, there are about four pregnancies a year at the school.
Some believe hit movies like Juno and Knocked Up make getting pregnant seem so appealing, as well as television shows like The Secret Life of the American Teenager for glamorizing young unwed mothers, and I have to say I’ve been concerned about this as well. Tweens and teens seem to think that having babies is all fun and games, but as The Washington Post says, “Babies Are No Joke”, and I agree that Hollywood needs to accept some responsibility and get real.
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. Some of the girls reacted to the news they were pregnant with high fives and plans for baby showers, Sullivan said. So did their parents. “We found out one of the fathers is a 24-year-old homeless guy,” the principal says, shaking his head.
Superintendent Christopher Farmer confirmed the pact, saying the girls had “an agreement to get pregnant.” He said the girls are generally “girls who lack self-esteem and have a lack of love in their life.” The first reports of the students’ apparent plan to get pregnant were in the Gloucester Daily Times in March, when Sullivan said students were reporting that the girls were getting pregnant on purpose.
NBC’s new six-part series, “The Baby Borrowers”, debuts on Wednesday, June 25th. NBC and The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy are attempting to warn teens about the dangers of pregnancy. On Baby Borrowers, five couples (18 to 20 years old) are given the opportunity to find out what life is really like taking care of babies, toddlers, tweens, teens and elderly folks, with all the details captured on camera. In my opinion, they’re starting several years too late, with greater attention needed on tweens and teens entering middle school and throughout high school.
On the show, the five teen couples live together for the first time and fast-forward through the various stages of parenthood, starting by wearing an “empathy belly,” then caring for a real live infant. After a few days, the couples move beyond babies to toddlers, preteens, young teenagers and eventually senior citizens.
Whatever happened to the Baby Think it Over life-size baby doll which allows teens to experience some of the demands of caring for babies? Since girls are getting pregnant at a much younger age, isn’t it about time parents and schools work together to educate tween and teen girls about sex, pregnancy and Parenting 101 starting at a much younger age? Most babies delivered by teen moms have absentee fathers, and the parents of pregnant teen girls often end up having to struggle through helping these babies raise their own babies. What a sad story for everyone involved.
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