'Pregnancy Pact' Principal Gets New Job at Catholic School

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The former principal of Gloucester High School has a new job, less than a week after resigning following a furor over his comments on the school's surge in student pregnancies.

On Thursday, the Gloucester Daily Times reported that Joseph Sullivan has been hired as principal of St. Joseph's School, a Catholic school in Wakefield for children in kindergarten through eighth-grade.

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Sullivan stepped down from Gloucester High School on Aug. 15, saying the town's mayor, Carolyn Kirk, had slandered him by questioning his integrity and intelligence.

"The ramifications of this whole episode on me and ... my family have been devastating and the Mayor's actions and the Superintendent's public silence has forced me to recognize that I have neither the trust, confidence or respect of the Mayor nor the Superintendent," Sullivan said in the statement sent to the Daily Times by his attorney on Aug. 12.

He had said his resignation, effective Aug. 15, would mean his retirement.

"I have at all times tried to fair and honest with the students, the faculty, the staff and the community," he said. "At all times I have done what I have felt was in the best interests of the high school."

Time magazine in June reported that Sullivan said some of the 17 pregnant students at the school made a pact to get pregnant.

Kirk disputed the existence of a pact, and didn't invite Sullivan to a news conference on the issue, saying city officials couldn't "verify" his comments.

The theory arose amid a debate over whether to dispense contraceptives at a school health clinic without parents' knowledge.

Officials have started an extensive study of teen pregnancy in Gloucester, including a review of the city's sex education programs and whether the school's 8-year-old day care center sent a message approving of teen motherhood.