From the folks over at ThinkProgress – Delhi Charter School in Delhi, Louisiana has a serious problem with pregnant students. That’s not to say that there’s an epidemic of teen pregnancy at the school; rather, they had a policy in place which forced girls to submit to a pregnancy test on demand, and if the test was positive or the girls refused to take the test, they were ejected from the school.
From the school’s handbook:
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.
If a student is determined to be pregnant and wishes to continue to attend Delhi Charter School, the student will be required to pursue a course of home study that will be provided by the school…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.
This policy just blows my mind. Imagine for a minute the fact that a student could start a rumor about another girl being pregnant, and the victim of the rumor might end up getting booted out of the school. And if you even think about refusing to take the pregnancy test, well, your desire for privacy is apparently too suspicious, and a sure sign that you’re just a dirty little slut who shouldn’t be in our pristine school anyway. How charming. What thinking person could possibly have come up with this idea?
And what about the guys that get them pregnant in the first place? Punishment of the boys involved is conspicuously absent from the policy…
Fortunately, the state of Louisiana realized how unbefuckinglievably stupid this was, and just a day after the story hit the web, the Department of Education ordered Delhi Charter School to drop its ban on pregnant students. And for what it’s worth, a petition online with the same goal has reached over 116,000 signatures in just a day.
What makes this whole deal even more maddening is that Louisiana has no sex education mandate in its educational standards – it doesn’t even mandate that students learn about how to protect themselves from HIV! In other words… it’s an abstinence-only state. In 2010, about 48 out of every 1,000 girls aged 15-19 in Louisiana had a successful live birth, making it the state with the 6th highest rate of teen births in America. And here we have a school deciding that this almost one out of every 20 girls aged 15 to 19 don’t deserve an education. What the fuck.