Louisiana education officials are moving to block a decision by the Delhi Charter School to ban pregnant students and require pregnancy tests for students suspected of being pregnant. The state-funded school in Delhi, Louisiana implemented its “Student Pregnancy Policy” to remove pregnant girls from school — requiring them to either find another school or study at home.
The measure is obviously unconstitutional and it is astonishing that any school official or lawyer would believe that it was lawful. Yet, School board member Albert Christman is quoted as saying that he was surprised to hear that their policy was possible unlawful.
Not only does it discriminate against female students, it violates Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
Under the rules, a Delhi students suspected of being pregnant will be called into a parent conference and then referred to a doctor of the school’s choice for testing. If the girls refuse, they will be required to study at home or leave the school. The school insists that it is all just part of teaching students to be good citizens: “Delhi Charter School has established an environment whereby the conduct of its students must be in keeping with the school’s goals and objectives relative to character development. The Delhi Charter School curriculum will maintain an environment in which all students will learn and exhibit acceptable character traits that govern language, gestures, physical actions, and written words.” That lesson apparently includes teaching students to accept arbitrary and authoritarian measures.
Delhi was created to take advantage of the state voucher program. 23 percent of Delhi Charter’s students are minority, nearly 5 percent disabled and 53 percent eligible for free or reduced-price meals.