Louisiana school forces teens to take pregnancy tests, bans pregnant students

Pregnancy test 
By: Moses Gold 

If you are pregnant, a school in the U.S. will force you to remain home until after the birth.

A policy of Delhi Charter School in Louisiana, prevents pregnant students to attend school. Students are forced to take a pregnancy test to continue to attend school if administrators suspect pregnancy. These policies have attracted the attention of the American Civil Liberties Union.

The ACLU sent a letter on Monday, requesting a review of the school policy or the group will take legal action.
The Delhi Charter School policy states that the school tries to maintain an environment where students learn and demonstrate acceptable character traits that govern language, gestures, physical actions and written words.

"The school reserves the right to request any student to take a pregnancy test to confirm if the suspect student is in fact pregnant," the policy says.

The policy also allows the school to refer the student to a doctor of their choice. "If the test indicates that the student is pregnant, the student is not allowed to attend classes on the campus of Delhi Charter School," according to the policy.

Pregnant students, who wish to continue to go to school, must enroll in a course of study from home during pregnancy.
"They are punishing the girls for making the decision to have a child," said Marjorie Esman, executive director of the ACLU of Louisiana on Monday.

Students who refuse to take a pregnancy test are "treated as a pregnant student and are provided opportunities for home study."

The letter from the ACLU argues that the policy violates Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as it excludes students in educational programs and activities based on gender. This violates the equal protection clause because it treats female students differently from men and is based on impermissible sexual stereotypes.

Esman said the policy is a pretext for sex discrimination.
Shirley said all public schools, including charter schools, must comply with federal law.

"Maybe the school was not aware of the protection provided by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972," she said. "I feel a bit frustrated that perhaps not all our schools are aware of these compliance issues. I hope to remedy this or give them a chance to explain why they believe they have the ability to do this," she said.