I am confused by teenagers today. I know everyone wants to fit in, but a group of Boston high schoolers have gone too far. June
BOSTON: At least 17 high school students, many aged 16 and under, are pregnant after apparently making a pact.
Officials in the Massachusetts city of Gloucester said nearly half of those who became pregnant appeared to have entered into an agreement to have their babies together over the year.
“Some girls seemed more upset when they weren’t pregnant than when they were,” Joseph Sullivan, the principal of Gloucester High School, told Time magazine.
A school health clinic became suspicious after seeing a surge in girls seeking pregnancy tests.
Authorities may pursue statutory rape charges against some of the men involved. Some are in their mid-20s, including one man who appeared to be homeless. Others were boys in the school.
In Massachusetts it is a crime to have sex with anyone under the age of 16.
“We’re at the very early stages of wrestling with the complexities of this problem,” Carolyn Kirk, the Mayor of the port city about 50 kilometres north-east of Boston, said.
“But we also have to think about the boys. Some … could have their lives changed. They could be in serious, serious trouble even if it was consensual because of their age – not from what the city could do but from what the girls’ families could do.”
The school forbids the distribution of condoms and other contraception without parental consent – a rule that prompted the school’s doctor and nurse to resign in protest in May.
“But even if we had contraceptives, that pact shows that if they want to get pregnant, they will get pregnant.
“Whether we distribute contraceptives is irrelevant,” Greg Verga, chairman of the Gloucester School Committee, said.
He also said the men should at least be held responsible for financial support, “if not put in jail for statutory rape as the mayor has suggested”.
Teenage pregnancies in the US are showing signs of rising after declining from 1991 to 2005.
Birth rates for girls aged 15 to 17 rose by 3 per cent in 2006, the first increase since 1991, preliminary data from the National Centre for Health Statistics said.
While these young girls prepare for motherhood, I can reflect upon my high school days when the most I had to worry about was who to go to the school dance with, how I could sneak alcohol from my parent’s liquor supply, and what to do on the weekend with which group of friends. Sadly, because they wanted to fit in, these girls will be staying home with morning sickness and say goodbye to their childhood and adolescence the moment that tiny child leaves their womb. I don’t envy their position, nor their stupidity.
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