A teenager is suing her school claiming staff humiliated her by publicly announcing she was pregnant to employees and students during an assembly.
Shantelle Hicks, from Gallup, New Mexico, who was 15 at the time, says she was told to stand up when the news was broken to classmates.
She also alleges she was forced to leave Wingate Elementary School because officials said she would be a ‘bad example’ to other students.
The 16-year-old – who gave birth to her daughter last month – is seeking punitive damages, alleging the school violated her constitutional rights.
She has launched a lawsuit with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
The teenager said: ‘It was so embarrassing to have all the other kids staring at me as I walked into the gymnasium.
‘I didn’t want the whole school to know I was pregnant because it’s not their business, and it wasn’t right for my teachers to single me out.’
Wingate Elementary is a public boarding school for Native American children from kindergarten through to 8th grade.
According to the complaint, school officials kicked her out of school after learning of her pregnancy.
But readmitted her four days later when the ACLU of New Mexico informed the school that it was illegal to deny a student access to education for being pregnant.
However, two weeks later, a school counsellor and the director of the middle school, forced the teen to stand before the middle school assembly and announced her condition – allegedly before anyone but her sister knew.
According to the suit, school officials told the teenager that she would be a ‘bad example’ to other students, and requested she attend another school, a Washington Post local report states.
No apology has been issued from any party involved.
What this school did is deplorable! This young lady did not deserve to be singled out and publicly humilitated. She’s an adolescent and the events she describes are potentially scarring for her and the other children who witnessed it. They should be ashamed of themselves, but that said, what the h*ll is she still doing in the eight grade at 15? Perhaps having a 15 year old in school with (presumably) 12 thru 14-year-olds is a bad idea to begin with. At her age, kids are approaching a huge developmental shift and exploring things (i.e. sex) that we should want, as a society, to delay younger children from venturing into. So while they went about it completely back-a$$wards, I do think a pregnant elementary-schooler could be a negative influence on other children and should be asked to finish school elsewhere- (I know, I know, puritanical but I still think it).