New York, June 20 : A group of American teenage girls allegedly made a pact - not to stay BFFs (Best Friends Forever), go to the prom together or try out for a sports team - but they agreed to get pregnant together.
And now, the 17 girls at Gloucester High School in Massachusetts are expecting babies.
None of the mothers-to-be, who are planning to raise their babies together, are over age 16. One of the fathers is a 24-year-old homeless man.
In a typical year, the school has about 4 pregnancies among its 1,200 students.
Schools Superintendent Christopher Farmer said the girls "lack self-esteem and have a lack of love in their life," in an interview with local news station WBZTV.
School officials discovered the pact after they noticed a spike in the number of girls requesting pregnancy tests at their health clinic.
"Some girls seemed more upset when they weren't pregnant than when they were," the New York Daily News quoted Joseph Sullivan, the school's principal, as telling.
A girl who had a baby during her freshman year and recently graduated from the school explained to the magazine her own theory about the unusual decision.
"They're so excited to finally have someone to love them unconditionally," Amanda Ireland, 18, said.
"I try to explain it's hard to feel loved when an infant is screaming to be fed at 3 a.m," she said.
The school, which encourages teenage mothers to stay in school with on-site day-care, is currently reviewing its policies on contraception and sex-education classes.