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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.

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  • LemonNLime

    I went to a Catholic school similar to this. If girls got pregnant, they weren’t allowed to wear their school uniform, seal, or tartan while pregnant. They were forced to wear navy sweat pants and a plain white shirt. They weren’t allowed to go to dances or walk during graduation (one girl in my class was induced just so she could walk). If they found out she had an abortion she was automatically expelled. And what happened to the guys who got them pregnant? Nothing.

  • Bri

    I’m from NELA (Northeast Louisiana), and this is just a shame. It’s a public, co-ed charter school that receives state and federal funding, and this is just a regressive plan of the headmaster’s. If the school wants to continue this plan, then fine, but they should not receive any form of public funding. It’s discrimination, plain and simple, and it’s a violation of those girls’ rights.

  • @Courtney**: I don’t really see this as a form of punishment. Even when the situation happened in Precious I didn’t think there was anything wrong with them not letting her come to school anymore because they offered her an alternative. They’re not just like “peace out bitch, God riddance to your bastard baby”. They’re getting involved, along with the parents and offering options for the girls.

    @Nic: Actually that’s what I was thinking. If the father happens to be a boy in the school, they should have a conference with his parents as well and make it a requirement that he attend parenting classes otherwise he doesn’t then he doesn’t advance to the next grade or graduate if he’s a senior.

    I stand by my original statement, there is nothing wrong with what the school is doing. Maybe my teenage experience existed in a vacuum or wasn’t of the norm but there is absolutely no reason why any 16 year old, girl or boy, should be having sex. I didn’t until college and when I think about myself in high school, I wasn’t thinking about sex- I was thinking about my education, going to college, cheerleading, hanging out with friends and enjoying myself. Sex or a child should not be and was not a factor in any child’s experience and a high schooler is still a child.

    • Rochelle

      I agree with your statement accept what you said about what should happen to the boys. The school can force a boy to pay child support. That is the courts. A school CAN however can pick and choose who is acceptable to go to the school.

    • Paying child support is definitely up to the courts however if a girl finger’s a boy as a father who attends the school as well, his parents should have the same conference. This wouldn’t be very hard to prove and easy to disprove as we are now able to determine paternity while the baby is still in utero. If it is proved that said boy is the father he should definitely be required to take some sort of parenting class. This is 2012, unplanned pregnancies, especially in “first world countries” should be non-existant.

    • There is something wrong with what the school is doing because by reason of anatomy, only females can get pregnant and only females are subject to this rule. I really don’t understand how anyone can think this is fair. ms_teacher calls my point 100% “null and void” but even if MOST teens get pregnant by older guys, a 14-year-old freshman can still get pregnant by an 18-year-old senior and MOST does not equal ALL. This rule is inherently biased against females.

      And you can’t extrapolate your personal experience growing up to the entire world. That’s fine that you never even thought once (a little sarcasm here) about having sex until you were a legal adult. Most people in the world are not so immune to the influence of biology and society. Only recently in the evolution of humankind have we declared that 18 is the arbitrary line of “adult,” but go back a couple centuries and teenagers were starting and having families much closer to the actual time of puberty. I think it’s a little unrealistic to expect everyone to ignore biological drives until they reach 18. Sex is a normal part of being a human being and it is a drive the same as eating, drinking, or relieving yourself.

    • Rochelle

      Sure I thought about sex as a teen. Did I do it? NO. Yeah back in the day, there was slavery, public beheading, people didn’t bathe for months, you see where I’m going here? should I go on? Yeah teens where starting families but they also died at 40. You get my point? Your type of thinking is what continuely keeps generation after generation in the holds of poverty and in the underclass. You have to get with the times. A lot of “hood people” (and don’t throw the race card at me, I mean po’ whites and ghetto blacks) don’t want to accept the majority culture. They want to obtain wealth but don’t want to follow the rules for it. AMERICA TODAY IS NOT BUILT FOR TEENS TO HAVE CHILDREN. That is why teens can’t legally make a decent livable wage, they can’t drink, they can’t drive, etc. They are not mature enough. And they certainly aren’t mature enough to have children. Are you getting it now? i don’t see how ANYONE can defend teen pregnancy or would want a pregnant teen to sit in a seat next to their child in a HIGH SCHOOL classroom! That is a bad example. Were you a teen mom? Was your mother or grandma? Then maybe I can understand the foolishment you just wrote.

    • You’re being ridiculous. Was I a teen mom? “My type of thinking” – i.e. daring to even acknowledge the FACT that MOST people are not like you and MOST PEOPLE indulge in sexual activity before 18 – is the reason why people are in poverty?

      Girl, bye.

      Poverty exists everywhere. SEX is not the reason for poverty. Please don’t tell me you consider that a remotely valid argument. In 2012, condoms, birth control – IUDS, pills, WHATEVER – should make unwanted pregnancies moot. The fact of teens indulging in sex is not the reason for unwanted teen pregnancies. HAVING ANY SEX AT ALL IS THE REASON FOR PREGNANCY, ADULT OR TEEN. While they can still get pregnant when birth control fails, the failure rate is astronomically low compared to using no birth control at all or using it inconsistently and improperly.

      ERGO.

      If these teens were educated about their options and had these options available to them.. if these teens had the self-esteem and self-respect to demand their partner cover up each and every time… we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

      Teens having sex is NOT the issue. You can try your subtle ad hominems all you want but it doesn’t negate the fact that your position is rationally indefensible. We are animals. We have sexual urges. The issue is that there is a breakdown between preventing those urges from ending in unwanted pregnancy in 2012 when there are so many options available to prevent this from happening.

      My grandparents were married when they reproduced and they are still married. Has nothing to do with my opinion. My parents were married when they reproduced and they still are married. Has nothing to do with my opinion. My brother and I – both adults in our twenties – have no kids. Has nothing to do with my opinion. Is there any way for you to even look at what I’m writing on its own merits instead of searching for some b.s. psychological reason WHY I said it?

  • Netta

    I received a petition in my inbox today about this. I declined to sign it. This school is privately run so they get to decide.

  • TPerk

    I think this is an excellent idea. I went to public school in Louisiana and it is hard to get an education in that state. I was lucky enough to live in a parish with a great honors program but, as far as regular education went, forget it. I would have jumped at the chance to go to a charter school. I do agree with most our y’all’s comments that the boys should be kicked out as well, but plenty of girls make it though high school (and college) without getting pregnant. If they can’t, give those spots up to another young woman and man who want to learn and not fool around.

    Two pregnant girls got into a fight in my high school because they found out they had the same “baby daddy.” Sit down with all that nonsense and learn something.