ACLU Challenge to Student Pregnancy Policy of Delhi Charter School in Delhi, Louisiana
The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Louisiana issued a letter to Delhi Charter School in Delhi, Louisiana in response to a policy that requires female students suspected of being pregnant to submit to a pregnancy exam and forces them out of school if they are pregnant or refuse to take the test.
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The policy states that if a teacher or administrator suspects a female student of being pregnant the school can require her to have a pregnancy test and even select the physician. If the student is pregnant, according to the policy, “the student will not be permitted to attend classes on the campus of Delhi Charter School…and will be required to pursue a course of home study.”
It further states: “Any student who is suspected of being pregnant and who refuses 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.”
Delhi’s policy violates Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and the Equal Protection Clause and the Due Process Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Male students who might also have engaged in sexual activity or be expecting children are not subjected to similar treatment.
The letter asks the school to suspend the policy until it is revised and to notify parents and students of the policy change.
Status: After a firestorm of negative opinion, the school agreed to retract the policy and develop a new one that complied with Title IX and the Constitution.
ACLU Letter to Delhi Charter School (August 6, 2012)