BOSTON (AP) — The principal of a Massachusetts high school who said a group of students intentionally got pregnant stood by his comments Thursday, saying his information "was and is accurate."

In his first public statement since the controversy erupted earlier this month, Gloucester High School principal Joseph Sullivan said he does not specifically remember using the word "pact" but does not dispute it.

He said a reporter from Time magazine asked him whether access to birth control through the school's health center would have prevented the spike in pregnancies — 17 last year, compared with the typical four.

"I told her no, because my sources had informed me that a significant number of the pregnancies, especially among the younger students, were the result of deliberate and intentional behavior," Sullivan said.

The principal said his only direct source of information about the intentional pregnancies was the former nurse practitioner at the health center. He said he also heard "verbal staff reports and student/staff chatter."