Claims that girls at Gloucester High School made a pact to become pregnant — first questioned by city officials — are now being challenged by students at the school, including three of the girls who were pregnant this past school year and have recently had children.
The high school students, who are also new mothers, say they had never heard of an agreement among girls to have children before the idea appeared in stories last week.
Brianne Mackey, 17, who just completed her sophomore year at Gloucester High and whose baby girl Karlee was born 17 days ago, told the Times yesterday she was not part of any pregnancy pact and did not know any girls at the school who were.
"I have no clue where they got that from," Mackey said. "The first I heard about it was in the news."
Lindsey Oliver, also 17, appearing on ABCs "Good Morning America" program yesterday, said there was "definitely no pact" and that the surge in pregnancies at the high school this year was likely a "coincidence."
Another student who just completed her sophomore year, and recently gave birth to her second child, declined to be interviewed by the Times, but said by e-mail she was not part of any pact.
National and international news outlets descended on Gloucester after Time magazine published a story suggesting the spike in pregnancies at the high school this year, reported to be as high as 18 by some officials, had been spurred by a group of girls in the sophomore class who made a "pact" to have children together.
On Monday, Mayor Carolyn Kirk and schools Superintendent Christopher Farmer told dozens of newspaper and television reporters that no one at the high school, including Principal Joseph Sullivan, could substantiate reports of the pact or say where they started.