Melbourne, June 22 : Police has been called in to hunt for the men or boys who have fathered the babies of 17 US teen girls from the same school, who made a pact to get pregnant at the same time.
The pregnancies has sent the country into shock after reports the girls reacted to positive pregnancy tests at the school's health clinic with high-fives and long faces if they weren't having a baby.
School officials in the hard-luck New England fishing town of Gloucester, Massachusetts, say police have now become involved after an alarming 17 girls, four times the usual number, became pregnant this year.
And even more disturbing: some of the girls may have made a pact to have babies and raise them together.
As the gravity of the bizarre agreement by the girls aged 16 and under started to sink in across America, experts began pointing fingers at the television and movie world.
Sarah Brown, chief executive of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, suggested some of the blame lies with the nation's Hollywood-obsessed culture, in which stories about pregnant celebrities abound.
"Baby bumps get written about the same way designer handbags do. It's just one more lifestyle choice, just another personal expression: these shoes, this bump and that handbag," News.com.au quoted Brown, as saying.
"It's not surprising that teenage girls can get confused or even seduced by the allure of celebrity pregnancy," she added.
Gloucester Public Schools superintendent Christopher Farmer was aghast.
"A typical girl you would think would say, 'Oh my God! What am I going to do now? How am I going to support this baby? How am I going to finish school?' These young women clearly have not seen that," Farmer said.
The superintendent said he had no independent confirmation of a pact. But he added: "What we do know is there was a group of students being tested for pregnancy on a regular basis, which would suggest they were not taking steps to avoid becoming pregnant."