Monday, June 23, 2008

Pact, Plot, Privacy

I continue to be fascinated by how the Gloucester High School pregnancy story is treated in the media.

Now the mayor of Gloucester is saying "she is concerned about protecting the privacy of the girls involved, as well as wanting to make sure everyone representing the city is working with the same level of information." (Gloucester Daily Times.) Perhaps that should have been a concern, oh, let's say a week ago? Perhaps this should have been the response sooner? OK, I get that the town was surprised and unprepared to handle the attention this brought to them; but still.

And meanwhile, the source of the "p" word and all its implications doesn't quite remember where he heard about the plot pact:* the local paper.

I still question about the judgment of Time magazine running these "facts." And you gotta love their current headline on this: Gloucester Pregnancy Plot Thickens. Changing one loaded term (pact) to another one (plot.) (Interesting to note: per this second Time article, Sullivan wasn't the only adult sharing information about minors that IMHO is private.)

Teen pregnancy is a serious issue; especially when teens believe that it is a viable, sound, desirable option, pact or no pact. The seriousness and complexity of this issue is lost and minimized by using words like "pact," "plot", and blaming pro-adoption movies.

After I post this, I could find out that the pregnant teens all just agreed to appear on Oprah. But in today's fifteen-minutes-of-fame world, I am a bit impressed that so far not one of these teens, or their families, have agreed to speak with the press or to appear on a TV show.

*Edited to correct plot to pact. Sorry! But it does illustrate how loaded the word "plot" is - and how Time Magazine seems to be saying that the Plot involves everyone else when, you know, they are a PART of the story now, not just reporting it. So, plot includes them.


Anonymous said...

I was pretty surprised to hear about this, too. But just the fact that this school has reported 17 pregnancies this year, 4 up from last year, makes me think they're doing something wrong. The fact that this school has a daycare in it, is telling enough.

While I do think it's important for girls to get an education even while they're pregnant, there is no public school that I know of here in my hometown that has a daycare in it.

Libby said...

I just read the original TIME piece today in the dr's office and it did seem a little thin. Though, as Celise says, those numbers are telling. Not necessarily about a pact or a plot, though, just about a lack of options, education, etc.

I lived in Gloucester for two summers during the late 70s and loved it as a summer beach community. I can't imagine, though, what it's like as a year-round place.