DUPED

Teen Fakes Pregnancy in Social Experiment

A clever high-school student in Toppenish, Washington, shocked a student assembly this week when she took off her prosthetic baby bump after six months of convincing everyone at her school that she was pregnant, according to the Yakima Herald-Republic. Gaby Rodriguez, 17, initially conceived the social experiment during her sophomore year as part of a senior project on stereotyping, but only a handful of people knew about it, including her mother, boyfriend, and the school principal. "She sacrificed her senior year to find out what it would be like to be a potential teen mom," said Principal Trevor Greene. During the assembly, she asked students and teachers to read some of the judgmental things people had said about her during her pregnancy. One teacher admitted to have initially wondered, "How are we going to take all of the potential that's in this girl and make sure it manifests itself and not let [her pregnancy] define who she is?" One of the conclusions Ms. Rodriguez drew from her research was that this was an issue Hispanic teens are more likely to face than white teens. At Toppenish High School, 85 percent of the student body is Hispanic.