The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of New Mexico have filed a lawsuit on behalf of Shantelle Hicks, 15, who was initially kicked out of middle school and then publicly humiliated at an assembly by the school director and another staff member because she was pregnant.
The complaint alleges that school administrators violated Hicks' constitutional right to equal protection under the law, Title IX's prohibitions against sex and pregnancy discrimination and violations of her right to privacy.
Hicks attends Wingate Elementary School. When she announced to school administrators that she was pregnant, they initially responded by kicking her out of school. The ACLU of New Mexico sent a demand letter to the school, informing them that it is illegal to deny a student access to education because of pregnancy status. Wingate readmitted Hicks after four missed days of instruction.
Approximately two weeks later the director of the middle school and another staff member had Hicks stand before the entire middle school at an assembly and announced that she was pregnant. Until that point, no one other than Hicks' sister knew that she was pregnant.
The ACLU's lawsuit seeks damages and declaratory relief for violations of Hicks' constitutional right to equal protection under the law and of Title IX prohibitions against sex and pregnancy discrimination in education.