A pregnancy pact may be responsible for a dramatic rise in young mothers-to-be at a Massachusetts high school, Time magazine reports.
Seventeen girls at the 1,200-student Gloucester High School had positive pregnancy tests, more than four times the rate the previous year, the magazine said in a story published online Wednesday.
On Thursday, the local newspaper, Gloucester Daily Times, reported the number had risen to 18.
Principal Joseph Sullivan told the news weekly that nearly half the pregnant teens, all age 16 or younger, confessed to making a pact to get pregnant and raise their babies together.
Officials at the school in Gloucester, a city about 50 kilometres north of Boston, began looking into the rise in teen mothers after an unusually high number of girls began getting pregnancy tests at the school clinic.
"Some girls seemed more upset when they weren't pregnant than when they were," said Sullivan.
He also told the magazine that one of the fathers is a 24-year-old homeless man.