In the latest chapter in the pregnancy pact fiasco, the Principal at Gloucester High School has resigned.
The Gloucester Daily Times reports:
Principal Joseph Sullivan, whose interview with Time magazine helped spark a global media frenzy over a possible pregnancy “pact” among some of the 18 pregnant students in his high school, announced yesterday he was resigning and retiring after 10 years in Gloucester. (source)
Sullivan’s resignation letter reveals the foibles that got him into this situation. Sullivan complains about how he has been treated since the whole story broke (how does he think the town feels?), and blames everyone but himself for the international media circus.
His letter states:
the mayor held a press conference and publicly slandered my reputation, my integrity and my intelligence. Since then neither the superintendent nor any member of the School Committee has publicly come to my defense. (source)
Sullivan probably isn’t a bad guy. He seems to have been snookered. A reporter for TIME Magazine knocked on his door, and he made a judgment error. He bungled the interview and gave a sleazy reporter the raw materials with which to sensationalize the story — and the City of Gloucester fell as collateral damage.
Sullivan’s letter then shifts into full irony mode:
When I applied to be the principal at Gloucester High School, I only knew Gloucester by its reputation as a hard-working fishing community with strong and multi-cultural and ethnic populations. As the screening and application process continued and I made my own inquiries, I began to appreciate how much more than its reputation Gloucester had to offer. I was impressed by the can-do attitude of the people who live and work here and the special relationship that existed between the community and the high school.
Yes, and before Sullivan gave the interview, Gloucester still had that reputation. Now, it is just known as “that pregnancy pact town.”
I kept reading and re-reading his resignation letter to search for any signs of remorse. There are none. No apology to the community for what he did to it. He takes zero responsibility for what his judgment error wrought. I’m sure that he meant no harm as he watched Kathleen Kingsbury ooze into his office. Nevertheless, his negligence damaged Gloucester’s proud reputation, and the least the he could do is offer a single, solitary, “I’m sorry.” Instead, his resignation is everyone’s fault but his own.
I expected better.