Lifestyle & Belief

Delhi Charter School policy forces pregnancy tests on female students

Delhi Charter School in Delhi, Louisiana is facing scrutiny this week for a controversial policy that requires female students who are "suspected" to be pregnant to take a pregnancy test.

The American Civil Liberties Union, who denounced the school's rule on Monday, calls the policy a "blatant violation" of the US Constitution's due process right to procreate, and arguing that it is discriminatory. 

Slate Magazine obtained the school's policy, in its exact wording: 

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.

The Louisiana charter school, which has a student body of 600 students in kindergarten through 12th grade, presents the pregnancy rules as a way for it to ensure its high standards for student character are met, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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However, Delhi Charter is having the policy reviewed by a law firm as a result of the ACLU's request. 

“There have never been any complaints from students or parents about the school policy,” Chris Broussard, the school’s teacher-director, told NBC News' “However, in light of the recent inquiry, the current policy has been forwarded to the law firm of Davenport, Files & Kelly ... to ensure that necessary revisions are made so that our school is in full compliance with constitutional law.”

Teen pregnancy is a huge deterrent for girls to finish their high school education, Think Progress reported: 30 percent of all female teen high school dropouts name pregnancy as the main reason for their leaving school, and 70 percent of teens who give birth end up leaving school. 

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