and taking that darn forced pregnancy test before you can come back to school.
Isn’t that – discrimination?
Delhi Charter School in Louisiana has a school policy (pg. c15) in place that if a female student is suspected of being pregnant, a conference is called, and the school administrators can require the young woman to take a pregnancy test, with the school’s choice of Dr. providing the test.
If the student is indeed pregnant, or simply refuses to take the test at all, they give her a couple of options. Each of these goes for whether or not a pregnancy is proven. Unless you take the test and it’s not. Then it’s all ok. If you are or refuse you can:
If the test indicates that the student is pregnant, the student will not be permitted to attend classes on the campus of Delhi Charter School.
- quit school
- homeschool with their curriculum
- find another school
Again, this is a school. In America. Today. In fact, according to their website, the policy has been in place since 2007. And even if you’re not pregnant and you refuse to take the test – you’ll be asked to homeschool or counseled on other educational options.
So Change.org started a petition to make the school change their policy – and a former teen mom headed the undertaking herself. Natasha Vianna became pregnant as 17 and was forced to transfer from her school. So far she has obtained over 100,000 signatures.
This is discrimination at it’s very worst. We have enough problems with the teen dropout rates and teen pregnancy to make it even harder for girl who become pregnant to finish school. The ACLU says that nearly 70% of teenagers who give birth drop out of high school. And the added humiliation and public disgrace is even worse. The ACLU said the school’s policy violated Title IX of the 1972 federal education law, which requires equal opportunities for both sexes.
The school has had this policy in affect since 2007 and only decided to change it because of the amount of media attention and the petition and the American Civil Liberties Union’s state chapter threatened to sue.
I do understand having a moral code in place in a school. I understand values and principles. What I don’t understand is this: How is punishing a young woman who gets pregnant by refusing her the same type of education she was receiving making anything any better?
Thank goodness for people like Natasha who are willing to take a stand against this sort of thing. For sites like Change.org that make action take place when things are clearly and incredibly unfair to students that find themselves in an already hard situation.
So what do you all think? What detriment does it cause on young women who become pregnant – and their families and child? Why wasn’t a policy put in place to also test her partner(s) and have them leave the school as well if proven the father?
Diana blogs on raising a toddler daughter, the loss of her twin boys, and their families’ Korean adoption in progress on the aptly named Hormonal Imbalances.
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