A Louisiana public school reserves the right to force girls they "suspect" are with child to take pregnancy tests on command. Students who test positive — or refuse to take the pregnancy test in the first place — aren't allowed to go to school anymore. Because pregnancy (aka sluttiness) is contagious, and if we just ignore pregnant teenagers, they will all disappear! (And totally not feel pressured to get abortions.)
Here's what it says in the Delhi Charter School's Student Pregnancy Policy:
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.
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.
(If you're in the mood for a particularly infuriating hate-read, check out the rest of the handbook; the school also allows "reasonable" corporal punishment, which they define as "paddling of the student's buttocks," and prohibits PDA such as hugging and holding hands because it shows "disdain for good taste." Unlike ruining teenagers' lives.)
The ACLU's Tiseme Zegeye points out that this is a massive violation of federal law and the U.S. Constitution:
The policy's complete disregard for Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in federally funded education programs and activities, is astonishing. Title IX and its regulations explicitly mandate that schools cannot 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."
Besides violating Title IX, the policy is also in violation of the Constitution's due process right to procreate, and equal protection: it treats female students differently from male students and relies on archaic stereotypes linked to sex and pregnancy.
The ACLU is demanding that the school suspend its policy. Maybe administrators can just make the teenagers wear scarlet Ps instead?
Image via kaarstenShutterstock.