Saturday, June 21, 2008

Pregnancy Boom

Pregnancy Boom at Gloucester High

“As summer vacation begins, 17 girls at Gloucester High School are expecting babies—more than four times the number of pregnancies the 1,200-student school had last year. Some adults dismissed the statistic as a blip. Others blamed hit movies like Juno and Knocked Up for glamorizing young unwed mothers. But principal Joseph Sullivan knows at least part of the reason there's been such a spike in teen pregnancies in this Massachusetts fishing town. 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. Then the story got worse. "We found out one of the fathers is a 24-year-old homeless guy," the principal says, shaking his head.”

The rest of the story can be read here.

This news story has been the subject today (Friday, June 20, 2008) of many radio talk shows and on-line forums.

So many people are in shock that such a *pact* could be made by these children.
That’s right I said children because that is what they are.

Is anyone else not surprised by this news article because I personally am not shocked by what is happening in today’s society?

The push to have children dress as sexy fashionistas, the overt sexual undertones to the music and movie industries and the idolization of movie and music stars who are treading a fine line between shock factor and just plain old bad taste are the norm.

When news stories seem to glorify teen pregnancy such as the announcement of the birth of 17 year old Jamie Lynn Spears' daughter this week, just what can we as a society expect?

What I find so sad is that there are probably many other children who are reading and hearing about this story and probably thinking to themselves “Let’s try that. Sounds like a great idea!”


David said...

The Jamie Lynn Spear pregnancy sent me gagging and through the roof for the simple fact that every media known to man glamorized it and made it "cute". The Juno theory is a long shot I only hope, I liked that movie and tend to think that I did the opposite of glamorizing the facts.
It only takes a few of the girls to make an act "cool" unfortunately. I get more pissed off at the parents that love to make their "little girls" look like sex objects.
I did not know of this stat that you post, and as always, I thank you for keeping us educated.

Mental P Mama said...

I was waiting for someone to talk about this...It is a very sad story. A low-income fishing town lacks most of the resources these innocent babies will need as well. Sad for everyone.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

I wish I could say I'm surprised, but that'd be lying. Can you imagine how this would have been handled/treated 20, 30, 40 years ago? How is it possible to change so drastically in such a short time?

sablonneuse said...

How terribly sad for all concerned. It sounds as though the idea of having a baby is 'romanticised' at the high school because of their (very laudable) attempts to encourage young mothers to continue their education. They need to explain the difficulties of bringing up a baby before you're properly prepared for all that is involved. Let's hope all these young girls will receive the support they need and that their plight will be made known to the even younger children who might fancy the idea of having a baby thinking it would be like having a live doll to play with.

JeanMac said...

- and then reality sets in, morning sickness, physical difficulty as baby grows, labor, up all night, no sleep - yup, you children were brilliant to decide this - and the fathers??? - and all families involved.

Nervus Rex said...

This is a very sad story that I had not heard. It makes me afraid for when my girls become teenagers. I guess that I just need to give them the tools of critical thinking, responsibility for their actions, and love. Who knows what it will come to...

Like you, I am not shocked. Sad, but not shocked.

Nancy said...

I hadnt heard about this and am glad you brought it to our attention. I have not seen the movies mentioned but am saddened that for one, these girls think this is the "thing" to do and second that they feel having their own child is the only way they can find unconditional love. Children are wonderful, but these poor girls dont have a clue what they are doing.

Midlife Slices said...

I saw this on television the other night and it made me sad. Kids have no idea what kind of changes their lives will take when they become Mom's. Unfortunately it's the innocent babies who will pay the highest price.

Wendy said...

I had no idea either and I am shocked and sad. Those poor girls. Thanks for posting this. It has opened my eyes and hopefully brought to the attention of the media, so young girls and boys will learn that it's NOT the cool thing to do.

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