gloucester mayor 2.jpgRecall Gloucester Mayor Carolyn Kirk’s June 23 press conference, when, according to USA Today:

The city’s mayor said Monday there is no evidence a group of young girls made a pact to get pregnant and raise their babies together, seeking to dispel an explosive theory put forth by the high school principal….

Kirk said she and Superintendent Christopher Farmer have been in touch with [Gloucester High School principal Joseph] Sullivan, and that he was “foggy in his memory” about how he came to believe there was a pact.
“When pressed, his memory failed,” Kirk said.

Sullivan is who first told Time reporter Kathleen Kingsbury about the pact among 8 of 18 pregnant students at GHS to get pregnant and raise their babies together.
I wrote in this week’s column Kirk threw Sullivan under the bus at her press conference. She’s trying to avoid city liability if the pregnancies weren’t reported to authorities as possible sex abuse.
Well, Sullivan is fighting back. According to the Gloucester Daily Times, June 26:

Principal Joseph Sullivan yesterday refuted characterization by Mayor Carolyn Kirk that he was incapable of remembering or verifying his statements about an alleged effort by some Gloucester High School students to become pregnant and raise children together.

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In a statement issued to the Times by his lawyer… Sullivan rejected Kirk’s suggestion at a news conference Monday that he was “foggy in his memory” and that “his memory failed him” when pressed to say where he got his information and whether he told a reporter from Time magazine that a number of the 18 students who became pregnant this past school year did so intentionally as part of a “pact.”…
“I honestly do not remember specifically using the word ‘pact’ in my meeting with the Time magazine reporter,” Sullivan said. However, he said he stands by belief that “my understanding was that a number of the pregnancies were intentional and that the students within this group were friendly with each other.”…
Attempts to reach Kirk by phone for comment were unsuccessful. But in an e-mail statement, Kirk declined to comment on Sullivan’s statements, but said she did not regret her comments on Monday….

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In March, the Gloucester Daily Times reported that 10 girls within the school, three times the average annual number, were pregnant. By the end of May, the medical director of the school health clinic, Dr. Brian Orr, said that 17 girls had become pregnant between June 2007 and 2008. Amid debate about the confidential distribution of birth control pills and condoms, Orr and Kim Daly, the clinic’s nurse practitioner, resigned after they said officials from Addison Gilbert Hospital, which runs the clinic, had been reluctant to distribute birth control.
Sullivan’s statement says that he told Kingsbury that distribution of birth control at the high school would not have prevented the spike in pregnancies 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 told the Gloucester Daily Times two days after he met with Kingsbury that the pregnancy spike had been caused by a “clique of girls who wanted to get pregnant.” He also said the distribution of contraceptives at the high school without the consent of parents would “break the trust between the parents and school.”…
Sullivan’s statement says that Kirk has not tried to contact him since June 11….

[Photo of Kirk courtesy of the AP; photo of Sullivan courtesy of Gloucester Daily Times; photo of school courtesy of USA Today;