As if going to high school didn’t already come bogged down with the pressures of trying to fit in, obtain good grades, and stay focused, now girls can add selective treatment to the list of issues to worry about.
A policy created by the Delhi Charter School, a public school in Louisiana, allows staff to demand a girl get a pregnancy test if they think she’s pregnant.
Once the girls are suspected of being so, the school reserves a right to demand they take a pregnancy test!
According to their 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.”
It goes on to mention that if the student is indeed pregnant they will not be allowed to attend classes, and recommended that they seek forms of education.
“Any student who is suspected of being pregnant and who refuse to submit to a pregnancy test shall be treated as a pregnant student and will be offered home study opportunities.”
If this isn’t discrimination, I don’t know what is. Tiseme Zigeye, a member of the ACLU, mentions that the school blatantly disregards Title IX of the Education Amendments, the federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in federally funded education programs and activities.
Girls who refuse the test, can consequently be kicked out of school. The ACLU is fighting the school to get rid of the policy.
How horrible! Can you imagine girls subjected to the shame and guilt that comes along with this? What do you think?
This is the micro management of charter schools that we as Americans seem to love so much. I’m not in favor of administrators probing little girls. This is akin to the VA legislature trying to probe women over abortions. No deal
For an educational institution to purport itself in such a callous and indifferent manner is unconscionable. The sexist, and deliberately debasing policy can induce many stigmas relative to these young women. There are a variety of modalities that can be implemented to help prevent pregnancies in young adults. Providing education on safer sex, interpersonal communication, healthy modes of interaction et al. There is no need to basically “scarlet letter” a young child and excommunicate her from the school. This policy is invasive and can be damaging to that child’s ethos.
As adults and as educators it is imperative that we are supportive of our children and provide a pathway towards empowerment and responsibility by cultivating a space of trust and non-judgment. If they end up in an untenable situation, it is our moral obligation to help them navigate it with dignity and not supplant their self respect in the process.
Denying them education while disingenuously suggesting they seek other options is the school devolving itself of accountability and distancing itself from the student. probably out of fear of legal reprisal or parental scorn if it is found to have occurred on school property. Yet again, I must repeat that as a pedagogical institution they have a duty to protect the child from the various conundrums they may face as well as provide them with a pathway towards reconciling these issues with clarity and dignity, not cut them off from the education that they need in order to provide economic sustainability and a better future for themselves and their child.
We need to find healthier ways of teaching our children the ramifications of their actions without castigating them.
@Safi A. Thomas: I agree with everything that you wrote and I want to add that we must open a dialogue with women who are in positions of power who feel the need to act and think like a man. It’s a tragic mistake.
@Kelly: I agree that dialogue must be had in regards to women in positions of power that should be lending their voice relative to issues of this magnitude in a positive and productive way.
I do not think it’s an issue of women “acting or thinking like men but making decisions from within the infrastructure of patriarchy. To genderize one’s actions or thoughts tends to lead to a conflation and illusory correlation in regards. I think to engage issues like this we must be willing to deconstruct the mechanisms in place that prevent women from making decisions befitting equality for their gender.
There is a framework of disenfranchisement that is inculcated into our young women via policies of this nature. Women on these boards must find ways to productively protect the rights of all children in these schools and not kowtow to the powers that be.
My question would be is a charter school subject to the laws that govern public schools? I wonder if a private institution, which you attend by choice, would be subject to the same?
For the sake of argument I only say that if you chose to go to that school you are agreeing to their rules, which include the whole pregnancy issue. While I don’t agree with the rule I do think that people need to understand what an informed decision is.
If these lil girls want to be pregnant in high school they need to find another school that accepts that. Should be simple.
Hell a lot of high schools have daycare built in, go to those, & not institutions that value education over teenage pregnancy.
If they’re gonna demand that a pregnancy test be taken and suspend a young woman who is pregnant, then they should go ahead and demand a paternaty test be taken and suspend the young man who fathered the child. I mean, why only punish the female when it takes two to conceive? This is just ridiculous!