As part of a class assignment in their child development class, students had to take their new, realistic looking and acting babies home and care for them.
The infant simulators allowed students to view caring for an infant in a more realistic way. Students took their babies home for four days and nights.
Each baby is programmed with a schedule similar to a real life infant. They require feeding, burping, changing and rocking.
"Students learn to consider their current suitability to become parents and gain a greater appreciation for their own parents," said child development teacher LaVonne Dodson.
Teaching how pregnancy occurs is something that can be covered in a book, but it is a lot more difficult to explain to teens what is means to be responsible for the care of an infant -- and what it feels like to live with that responsibility on a daily basis.
Each student is sent home with a custom-designed baby that looks, weighs and sounds like a typical 3-month old infant. Each comes complete with a car seat, birth certificate and computerized chip built into its back that causes the baby to cry out for attention every two to three hours.
"How realistic they are is just unbelievable," said GHS Vice Principal Russ Hesler.
The students agreed.
"It woke me up during my snooze time," said Katlin Pierce. "It wasn't that we got no sleep, it just woke me up every couple of hours for 20 minutes or so and cramped my style."
Pierce had to find a babysitter for part of the time over the weekend because she is a cheerleader. She also took the baby to the tanning salon when she couldn't find a sitter.
"They let me bring it in since it wasn't real," she said. "I just set it on a stool while I tanned. It didn't cry or anything."
Callie Sanders took her baby to church where she works in the nursery.
"It wasn't too bad," she said with a smile. "I work in the nursery once a month anyway so I just switched. I've had it since Thursday. It wasn't too bad."
Sarah Fenwick took her baby shopping to Plainfield over the weekend.
"I didn't make it scream but it wasn't fun," she said.
Pierce claims she had to beg people to babysit for her. She took it to Marvin's Restaurant after the ballgame Saturday.
"It was so loud in there, I couldn't hear it cry," she said.
Putnam County Prosecutor Tim Bookwalter provided money for the purchase of the babies from the Pretrial Diversion fund.
"I'm not just the prosecutor," said Bookwalter. "I'm here to promote education as well. We have a problem with teenage pregnancies in the county. All the schools in the county will get to use these babies."
Hesler is hoping that Bookwalter will be able to kick in some additional funds for the purchase of more of the lifelike babies in the future.
"It's such a good way to get kids to see what their lives could be like," Hesler said. "I had kids at 31 and I'm not sure I was ready even then."
According to the U.S. Health Department, each year nearly 1 million teenagers in the United States -- approximately 10 percent of all 15- to 19-year-old females -- become pregnant.
About one third of these teens abort their pregnancies, 14 percent miscarry, and 52 percent bear children -- 72 percent of them out of wedlock.
More than 40 percent of women in the United States become pregnant before they reach 20 years of age and six in 10 teen pregnancies occur among 18- to 19-year-olds.
U.S. teenagers have one of the highest pregnancy rates in the Western world -- twice as high as rates found in England, France and Canada, three times as high as that in Sweden and seven times as high as the Dutch rate.
Schools are working hard with community members and organizations to stop the number of teenage pregnancies occurring.
"In the past similar projects were conducted with raw eggs or flour sacks," said Hesler. "Using the infant simulators makes it much more believable."
For those less-vigilant practice parents, their dolls may well tell the story for them.
When the student turns in the baby at the end of his or her four-day stint, a computer record can be pulled up to determine whether the babies have been abused or neglected.
The GHS child development class received five infant simulators -- a drug addicted mother infant, fetal alcohol syndrome and shaken baby syndrome demonstration babies. The babies will also be used in the school's health classes.
"The shaken baby has a clear head on it," said Dodson. "When it is shaken, lights go off and students can see where the babies brain is being injured."
The fetal alcohol baby seems lethargic and has some of the features of those of a real baby with the syndrome.
This week, five more students will have parental responsibilities given to them. All the students agreed they did not want children for a long time.
Some even claimed they might never want them after this experience.
"It really cramps your lifestyle," said Pierce.