Palin: Future son-in-law is no high school dropout

Thursday, January 1, 2009 | 4:23 p.m. CST

 ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin says her future son-in-law is not a high school dropout as the press is reporting.


Palin told The Associated Press on Wednesday that 18-year-old Levi Johnston is enrolled in high school through a correspondence program.

Palin said some media outlets also are erroneously reporting that her 18-year-old daughter, Bristol, is a high school dropout. The governor said her daughter is enrolled in regular high school and has taken correspondence courses.

The AP reported in an October story that Johnston dropped out of high school to work on the North Slope oil fields. The wire service hasn't mentioned Bristol Palin's status in school.

A phone message left at the home of Johnston's mother wasn't immediately returned Wednesday.

Bristol Palin and Johnston are the parents of Sarah Palin's first grandchild, Tripp Easton Mitchell Johnston, who was born Saturday.

Palin's office initially would not comment on the birth of the couple's baby, but on Wednesday the governor broke the silence.

"We are over the moon with the arrival of this healthy, beautiful baby," Palin said in a statement. "The road ahead for this young couple will not be easy, but nothing worthwhile is ever easy. Bristol and Levi are committed to accomplish what millions of other young parents have accomplished, to provide a loving and secure environment for their child."

In the statement, Palin spokesman Bill McAllister said, "The high volume of press inquiries, along with some erroneous information that was published, prompted the governor to make a statement."

In the same statement, Bristol Palin said she "obviously discourages" teen pregnancy and understands previous plans have been forever changed.

"Teenagers need to prevent pregnancy to begin with — this isn't ideal," the teenager said. "But I'm fortunate to have a supportive family which is dealing with this together. Tripp is so perfectly precious; we love him with all our hearts. I can't imagine life without him now."

Johnston has said he and Bristol plan to marry.


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