Louisiana school kicks out pregnant or suspected pregnant students_lowres



The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana has challenged a Louisiana public school that requires female students to take a pregnancy test if they're suspected of being pregnant. At Delhi Charter School, students are subject to a school-selected physician and risk expulsion if they don't comply. In a statement, Louisiana ACLU director Marjorie Esman said, “The pregnancy policy violates the rights of every girl at Delhi Charter School. ... Every girl is at risk of being subject to intrusive medical testing, and possibly forced out of school, for reasons that have nothing to do with her education.”

According to its student handbook:

If an administrator or teacher suspects a student is pregnant, a parent conference will be held. The school reserves the right to require any female student to take a pregnancy test to confirm whether or not the suspected student is in fact pregnant. The school further reserves the right to refer the suspected student to a physician of its choice. If the test indicates that the student is pregnant, the student will not be permitted to attend classes on the campus of the Delhi Charter School.

It continues, saying "any student who is suspected of being pregnant and who refuses to submit to a pregnancy test shall be treated as a a pregnant student and will be offered home study opportunities." If "home study opportunities are not acceptable," the school will offer counseling for other education opportunities.

The ACLU says the policy violates Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, a federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in schools and programs receiving federal funds. It states that students can't be excluded from any activities “including any class or extracurricular activity, on the basis of such student’s pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy or recovery therefrom.”

The ACLU demanded in a letter that the school suspend the policy, or it will consider filing a lawsuit against it. No word whether the school still uses this handbook, which is dated 2006.