Principal stands by his story of high-school pregnancy pact

The Associated PressJune 27, 2008 

— The principal of a Massachusetts high school who said a group of students intentionally got pregnant stood by his comments Thursday, saying his information "was and is accurate."

In his first public statement since the controversy erupted earlier this month, Gloucester High School principal Joseph Sullivan said he does not specifically remember using the word "pact" but does not dispute it.

He said a reporter from Time magazine asked him whether access to birth control through the school's health center would have prevented the spike in pregnancies -- 17 last year, compared with the typical four.

"I told her no, because my sources had informed me that a significant number of the pregnancies, especially among the younger students, were the result of deliberate and intentional behavior," Sullivan said.

The principal said his only direct source of information about the pregnancies was the former nurse practitioner at the health center. He said he also heard "verbal staff reports and student-staff chatter."

Sullivan said he had been asked by school officials in the fishing community 30 miles north of Boston not to speak publicly. But he said he issued the three-page statement Thursday "to put to rest the notion that I am 'foggy in my memory' or that when pressed, 'my memory failed.'"

He was referring to comments by Mayor Carolyn Kirk, who has said that there is no evidence of such a pact and that Sullivan could not remember the source of his information.

All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be published, broadcast or redistributed in any manner.

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service