Gloucester school officials: Oh, by the way, we never said there was a pregnancy “pact”

posted at 2:17 pm on June 21, 2008 by Allahpundit

Didn’t they? Revisit the lede from Time’s now-famous article. No school official is quoted using the word “pact,” but in the context of describing a conversation with school principal Joseph Sullivan, Time offers this: “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.”

Simple enough, no? Er, no. From last night’s Gloucester Daily Times:

School Superintendent Christopher Farmer said he had never heard the term “pact” from students, parents, teachers or administrators at the high school and planned to investigate whether the agreement was real or a product of the national media.

“I had never heard the term ‘pact’ until Time magazine wrote it,” Farmer said. “All we knew was that there was a small group of girls who were not disappointed in the idea of being pregnant. I had never heard of any kind of communal effort that girls were trying to get pregnant.”…

In an interview Friday, June 6, the last day of school, Sullivan described to the Times the group who had become pregnant as a social “clique” of girls who wanted to have babies. Sullivan has been on vacation this week and cannot be reached…

[One parent] said her daughter knew some of the girls involved and suggested that any “pact” between them had been made after they were pregnant and was to stay in school and raise the babies together.

The GDT’s editor published his own separate piece yesterday affirming that no one ever used the term “pact” with them either, although their own initial report on the pregnancies from March has Sullivan claiming that some upperclassmen told him younger students may be getting pregnant on purpose. Evidently a lot hangs on that “may.” Or does it? The freakiest part of the story isn’t that the girls might have formally coordinated, as freaky as that would be; it’s that, coordination or not, more than four times the usual number are pregnant and at least a few — “nearly half,” according to Time, again seemingly citing Sullivan — did it on purpose. Which is worse, the possibility that they’re in cahoots or the possibility that they’re not, that 18 pregnancies were just a product of peer pressure, copycatism, and an unusual strain of teen pregnancy themes in entertainment over the past year?

While we’re at it, two other questions. First, where’s Sullivan? Suddenly there’s global media attention for what’s happening at his school and he seems to be the source for most of the freakiest details about pacts and intentional pregnancy — and yet he just happens to be on vacation this week and can’t be bothered to interrupt it to take some questions? I wonder if the vacation was planned or if his superiors “suggested” it. Second, is Farmer playing dumb in the blockquote about not knowing anything about a pact or “communal effort”? Watch this clip of him describing some of the girls being “together, talking about becoming pregnant, and that being a positive thing for them.” Maybe this really is nothing more than people needing to be more precise with the words they choose … or maybe it’s all true and they’re so humiliated they’re going to try to put the genie back in the bottle with denials after the fact.

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THIS IS SO INTERESTING!

Nonfactor on June 21, 2008 at 2:22 PM

Putting the toothpaste back into the tube. Words to the wise: you can’t get un-pregnant, and you can’t un-say things! Even the supreme court can’t do that!

stonemeister on June 21, 2008 at 2:25 PM

ummmmm -bullsh*t

HawaiiLwyr on June 21, 2008 at 2:31 PM

So, being able to confidentially give these girls birth control would have helped in a situation where a bunch of them were trying to get pregnant…. how?

VolMagic on June 21, 2008 at 2:40 PM

My theory is that all those kids were chronically depressed by having a “Fighting Fisherman” for their school mascot.

Rhinoboy on June 21, 2008 at 2:43 PM

If the same thing were to happen somewhere in some private school wouldn’t parents band together to sue the administrators?
Mightn’t a hopped up prosecutor see criminal negligence in school officials who were aware some of the girls exhibited disappointment at negative EPTs but didn’t then steer those girls to counseling, intervention, the condom-loader?

Stephen M on June 21, 2008 at 2:43 PM

Those “school officials” should be fired. Don’t they realize that they are making their school and town into the “promiscuous teen” flavor-of-the-month?

Or worse – America’s laughingstock?

newton on June 21, 2008 at 2:43 PM

Stephen M on June 21, 2008 at 2:43 PM
newton on June 21, 2008 at 2:43 PM

So you would have the school completely control the lives of its students. Wery interesting.

VolMagic on June 21, 2008 at 2:45 PM

So you would have the school completely control the lives of its students. Wery interesting.

VolMagic on June 21, 2008 at 2:45 PM

I’ve really come to the opinion I think schools should stay out sex ed and all that type of stuff. I don’t thinks it’s responsibility.

terryannonline on June 21, 2008 at 2:52 PM

VolMagic on June 21, 2008 at 2:45 PM

What I’m saying is that those people are looking like bumbling fools before the rest of America.

newton on June 21, 2008 at 2:56 PM

newton on June 21, 2008 at 2:56 PM

So the officials should be fired because the kids have bad parents?

terryannonline on June 21, 2008 at 2:52 PM

Exactly. Not their business, and not their fault.

VolMagic on June 21, 2008 at 2:57 PM

terryannonline on June 21, 2008 at 2:52 PM

with america falling behind in math, science et al. It’s amazing that the thing in education is sex ed. Get back to the basics, reading/writing/math/science. once we are #1 again, then worry about the other stuff.

lorien1973 on June 21, 2008 at 2:57 PM

I would also like to see the parents of these girls out in the public. They deserve to be given the “riot act” for being bad or lazy parents in the first place.

Remember Britney’s and Jamie Lynn’s mom? She was going to publish a book on “good parenting practices”, and I am sure she was going to use their daughters’ publicity for her own purposes.

It sure backfired on her, big time! She had to throw the book out the window as soon as Jamie Lynn’s EPT came back positive.

newton on June 21, 2008 at 3:00 PM

Those officials are not handling this whole situation right. They are receiving calls from just about every media organization out there, even foreign. They know their school and their town are receiving bad press.

Not to mention, they should have intervened at the first sign that something was terribly amiss, before a Time reporter got a hold of the story. (Call the parents. Get counselors and people who could tell those girls what they really have ahead of them due to a teen pregnancy. Call the authorities and track the fathers for statutory rape charges.) Something could have been done before the media got a hold of the story and brought the town to such disrepute.

newton on June 21, 2008 at 3:06 PM

I don’t see how so many girls could become pregnant unless they intended to, i.e., there was some sort of agreement. If the town/school/families/girls are getting bad press, it’s because they deserve it.

Blake on June 21, 2008 at 3:11 PM

Blake on June 21, 2008 at 3:11 PM

Bingo!

newton on June 21, 2008 at 3:13 PM

Remember Britney’s and Jamie Lynn’s mom? She was going to publish a book on “good parenting practices”, and I am sure she was going to use their daughters’ publicity for her own purposes.

I guess if you count one daughter sexually active since age 14 and the other knocked up at age 16, as “good parenting practices.”

Blake on June 21, 2008 at 3:14 PM

Blake on June 21, 2008 at 3:11 PM
newton on June 21, 2008 at 3:06 PM

I’m actually somewhat surprised they’re receiving bad press. It was beginning to look like an issue Americans don’t really care about anymore.

terryannonline on June 21, 2008 at 3:16 PM

Blake on June 21, 2008 at 3:14 PM

Heh!

That was one screwed up parent, don’t you think? Heh!

newton on June 21, 2008 at 3:16 PM

terryannonline on June 21, 2008 at 3:16 PM

That’s the whole point of all this: we still care about it! We see girls denying themselves a better future for the sake of the “here and now”. And parents/teachers/school officials who abet it.

newton on June 21, 2008 at 3:18 PM

It’s been a long time since I visited Gloucester. Lots of good fishing, then. Now all the talk is about what school teachers/officials and parents didn’t do. They used to have churches in Gloucester, too. Have they gone the way of all flesh?

ich dien on June 21, 2008 at 3:23 PM

Putting the toothpaste back into the tube. Words to the wise: you can’t get un-pregnant

(actually, you can – what I love better is when some say that pregnancy is not a precondition; I answer “really, can you be pregnant and not pregnant? You’re either pregnant, or you’re not”)

, and you can’t un-say things! Even the supreme court can’t do that!

(heh, sm, have you listened to the Obama team?)

stonemeister on June 21, 2008 at 2:25 PM

Entelechy on June 21, 2008 at 3:34 PM

Sorry, that should have been a quote, from stonemeister, with my comments in the parentheses.

Entelechy on June 21, 2008 at 3:35 PM

As a public school teacher I say please DON’T send your kids to the government school. We just make ‘em stupid.

Mojave Mark on June 21, 2008 at 3:52 PM

It’s not particularly un-believable. The State of NH is more than happy to load up girls like this with Section 8 housing, food stamps, free pre-natal care, etc. The girls can go from high school to Ghetto Onion-hood with zero hassle along the way.

GeneSmith on June 21, 2008 at 4:03 PM

Lots of good fishing, then.

Then and how. Bow chika wow wow.

lorien1973 on June 21, 2008 at 4:20 PM

Entelechy on June 21, 2008 at 3:35 PM

Just comparing reality to legality. Worse than apples and oranges.

stonemeister on June 21, 2008 at 4:26 PM

THIS IS SO INTERESTING!

Nonfactor on June 21, 2008 at 2:22 PM

Nothing interesting about a story that’s gone global having possibly been partly made up by Time magazine? Tastes differ, I guess.

Also, kindly refrain from wasting bandwidth on commenting about how disinclined to comment you are. It’s equivalent to spam.

Allahpundit on June 21, 2008 at 5:05 PM

As a teacher at a private school, please do not send your children to any American school. Administrators are toilets, and liars.

saved on June 21, 2008 at 5:06 PM

Every pregnant student and every parent refused to be interviewed? In this warholian day and age? I think somethings up with that health clinic person wanting to distribute birthcontrol without restrictions. My money says the story is traced back to that person and though it isn’t uncommon to see pregnant teenagers, the number in that school isn’t as high or out of the ordinary.

peacenprosperity on June 21, 2008 at 5:18 PM

I don’t know whether it was on this site, but I said yesterday that I wondred how long before this was outed as a hoax.

I would look to the reporter who was probably looking for a prize from her peeers.

davod on June 21, 2008 at 7:45 PM

OK, so it was only a de facto pact

The following books examine and largely find fault with various aspects of the modern educational system. This is due in a very large part to the influence of modern psychology’s views of Man and how we all relate to the world around us. So many “modern” psychological theories used today in the classroom replace basic, common-sense education of reading, writing and arithmetic with complex behavioral programs aimed to alter and shape the student’s beliefs, attitudes, and values.


For example
:

These sinister curricular developments, combined with often cowardly and irresponsible management more concerned about institutional image and ranking than with fiscal integrity or a commitment to educate our youth, will breed disaster unless immediate steps are taken to reform the entire educational system.

But one need not be a seer to know that the hijack is complete.

elvis on June 21, 2008 at 7:47 PM

I’ve posted before this is not new. The only thing is that this was publicized.

roux on June 21, 2008 at 10:12 PM

This case is pretty simple: 1) the girls are sluts and have no shame, 2) people can’t hide the fact of their pregnancy, 3) the people can’t hide their ineptness of their upbringing of these kids, 4) the teaching that openness is paramount to reason has shown its obvious flaws, and 5) the devaluation of life in the eyes of the students has come full circle since now babies are seen as a commodity rather than a blessing from God, created in God’s image.
Gotta love where our society is heading. Everyone wonders why this happens: it’s the logical conclusion of what we teach these kids in school, on television, and as a society.

Send_Me on June 21, 2008 at 10:34 PM

This what happens when liberals have children.

faraway on June 21, 2008 at 11:32 PM

“This what happens when liberals have children.”

No. This is what happens to children who are taught liberal programs.

davod on June 22, 2008 at 7:19 AM

It’s popular to be a whore now. My have times changed.

tx2654 on June 22, 2008 at 8:18 AM

So, being able to confidentially give these girls birth control would have helped in a situation where a bunch of them were trying to get pregnant…. how?

VolMagic on June 21, 2008 at 2:40 PM

Agreed. Giving them condoms wouldnt have changed anything. It might have helped if their parents had taken the time to teach them some morals. But, hey, I’m being old fashioned again.

abcurtis on June 22, 2008 at 8:51 AM

I agree with the Superintendent. There are only two possible explanations; either it is an amazing coincidence that a group of girls that were best friends all got pregnant at the same time, or there is an imaculate conception going on and in another few months we will have several new candidates for Jesus.

percysunshine on June 22, 2008 at 9:18 AM

As mad as I am over this story, it is increasingly more and more typical. There is a collapse of our culture and the best place to see this collapse is in our schools.

On the issue of teens getting knocked up, this unfortunately is more and more commonplace.

Let me give two examples:

I used to work in the South Bronx…we had very graphic sex ed and gave out condoms like they were free candy. And guess what: a good number of our teen girls were getting knocked up. So inner city, gave out condoms…kids still having kids

Now I work in suburban Phoenix, Maricopa county…Sheriff Joe Country…..we do not teach sex ed, do not give out condoms, can only mention the whole Abstinence thing….basically we pretend that there is no such thing as sex…and guess what…..we have a ton of girls getting knocked up. My buddy taught a class of 40, where 8 were expecting.

So when sex ed and jimmy’s doesn’t work and don’t talk about it doesn’t work…..what can we do?

Bottom line…..Rome is burning…..

Everyone should read Gibbons

arizonateacher on June 22, 2008 at 9:19 PM

I once attended a small college where the general attitude was (and still is) that abstinence before marriage is right, artificial birth control is unacceptable in any circumstances, and abortion is simply murder by another name. Contraceptives were entirely unavailable on campus.

So far as I recall there was one pregnancy in the 4 years I was there. Student population was roughly 250, gender ratio was roughly 50/50, so over 4 years taking student turnover into account thats 1 out of 210 women or less than half a percent. And in that one case, the father took responsibility and offered to marry the girl, she accepted, and so far as I know they are still happily married and raising the child together.
Another bonus: campus sexual assault statistics were 0% (consistent every year).

Just sayin’.

Gaunilon on June 23, 2008 at 2:26 AM