Pregnancy pact principal resigns

Filed under: Teens, Your Pregnancy, In The News, Day Care & Education

Remember the so-called pregnancy pact that the principal at Gloucester High School blamed for the unusually high number of teen pregnancies in his school? The pregnancy pact explanation was put forth by Principal Joseph Sullivan during a debate on whether or not the school should provide contraceptives to students. Clearly, his position was that the high number of pregnancies were not due to lack of available contraceptives, but because the girls wanted to become mothers. He later claimed that while he never used the word 'pact', he did believe that many of the seventeen students who became pregnant earlier this year did so intentionally.

Shortly after the pregnancy pact story made national headlines, the mayor of Gloucester, Carolyn Kirk, threw Sullivan under the bus. She said his pact theory could not be substantiated and she distanced herself from the principal by not inviting him to a press conference where the issue was discussed.

Yesterday, Principal Sullivan resigned his position and accused Mayor Kirk of slandering his reputation, integrity and intelligence. "The ramifications of this whole episode on me and ... my family have been devastating and the Mayor's actions and the Superintendent's public silence has forced me to recognize that I have neither the trust, confidence or respect of the Mayor nor the Superintendent," Sullivan said in a statement. He now plans to retire.

In response, Mayor Kirk issued her own statement: "Dr. Sullivan will long be remembered in Gloucester for the many individual families he helped over the past 10 years. I wish him all the best in his retirement."

Whether or not there really was a pregnancy pact remains to be seen. A study is underway that will include a review of the city's sex education classes as well as a look at whether or not having a day care center at school might be sending students the wrong message regarding teen parenthood.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.