The Daily Scribe

Thought Provoking Issues!

My Mother Is A Baby . . .

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That is what the city of Gloucester, Massachusetts has to contend with due to allegations made by a high school principal that seventeen girls made a pact to get pregnant.

Principal Joseph Sullivan is being looked upon with dubious distinction over a statement he made to Time magazine that the young girls had made such a pact. The girls ranging in age 16 and younger are all sophomores.

Mayor Carolyn Kirk claims that there is no corroborating evidence to support Mr. Sullivan’s assertions. She plans to meet with school, health and other local officials to determine the rise of teen pregnancy, which is usually an average of four girls a year.

“The high school principal is the one who initially said it, and one else has said it,” Kirk said. “None of the counselors at the school, none of the teachers who know these children and none of the families have spoken about it.

“So, my position is that it has not been confirmed,” she said.

Gloucester—a city 30 miles north of Boston with a population of about 30,000 is trying to deal with the notoriety. City and school officials are baffled and have no explanation for the recent increase in teenage pregnancies at the 1,200 student high school.

 At the center of the controversy is the proposal to stem a possible epidemic in teen births by distributing contraceptives to students without parental consent. The issue has become so volatile that last month, two officials at the high school health center resigned to protest the local hospital’s refusal to participate in the program.

What seems rather odd throughout Gloucester’s ordeal is the reluctance of school, health, parents and local officials to ascertain the reason for the increase by asking the seventeen girls. Perhaps, if this was done, the romanticism that young girls feel about having babies, would be shattered by the reality of how hard it to raised a child as an adult, yet alone, at such a tender age of sixteen.

The demographics of this heavily Catholic town, which has a large population of Italian and Portuguese residents is perhaps the source of the problem. The town has a history of being supportive of teenage mothers. The high school has a day care center for employees and oddly enough for the students as well.

Perhaps what parents, city and school officials should be doing, is not encouraging use of the day care center in school, but teaching the harsh reality of what happens . . . when babies have babies.

Bradley Booth/Freelance Commercial Writer/Author


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