As teen pregnancy rates continue to drop, one Louisiana school has an interesting policy to discourage out of wedlock births. According to the handbook at Delhi Charter School, administrators will force girls they suspect to be pregnant to take a pregnancy test and if those girls refuse the test or come up pregnant, they will be kick out of school.
The school’s pregnancy policy explains:
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 Delhi Charter school.
The policy continues:
Any student who is suspected of being pregnant and who refuse to submit to a pregnancy test shall be treated as a pregnant student and will be offered home study opportunities. If home study opportunities are not acceptable, the student will be counseled to seek other educational opportunities.
While schools should be encouraging pregnant teens to stay in school and not force them to leave, this isn’t just an emotional issue. According to the ACLU and the Title IX statues, publically funded schools (and charter schools are indeed publically funded), cannot discriminate on the basis of sex or “exclude any student from an education program or activity, ‘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 has asked the Delhi Charter School to suspend their policy, but they’ve yet to hear back. Interestingly enough, Jezebel also points out that this same school also restricts hugging and holding hands and still employs corporal punishment.