Delhi Charter School

The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana threatened Tuesday to sue a northeastern Louisiana charter school if it doesn't change rules that keep pregnant students out of the classroom and require girls under suspicion of being pregnant to be tested. The four-paragraph "Student Pregnancy Policy" in Delhi Charter School's policy manual says that if a suspected girl refuses to take a pregnancy test, she can be removed from class or the school.

That violates the U.S. Constitution and federal laws against sexual discrimination, state ACLU executive director Marjorie R. Esman said...

The pregnancy policy, on page 130 of the manual, says pregnant students who want to stay in the school must study at home.

"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," it states. The school can also choose which doctor the student will see.

Students who refuse to take a pregnancy test must either study at home or find another school.

The requirements are part of "an environment in which all students will learn and exhibit acceptable character traits," it says.

Title IX, the section of the 1972 federal education law requiring equal opportunities for both sexes in education, mandates that "pregnant students are entitled to an education free from discrimination," Esman wrote. She said it allows home instruction for pregnant students, but "participation ... must be completely voluntary and comparable to those offered to non-pregnant students."

It violates the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection clause because "boys who are expecting children -- or who are suspected of having engaged in sexual activity -- are not similarly treated," she wrote...

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