Louisiana Charter School Will Accost Students About Their Uteruses No Longer
Perhaps it was that phone call from the ACLU or the collective uproar of the blogosphere, but that whackadoodle Louisiana charter school that was forcing rumored teen harlots to take pregnancy tests will demand pee sticks over parent teacher conferences no longer. Young mothers — and girls who simply have a predilection for flowy blouses — rejoice!
The Associated Press reports that after “everybody [getting] up in a roar,” according to ACLU chairman Albert Christman, and the ACLU threatening to sue, Delhi Charter School is changing their embarrassingly discriminatory 2006 policy. The charter school maintains that they had no idea that it was a violation of Title IX (which ensures equal opportunities for both sexes) to force pregnant students to continue their studies at home. And they aren’t alone. A couple of months ago, the National Women’s Law Center noted in a report that pregnant students get routinely discriminated against:
“Despite enormous advances for women and girls in education since 1972, schools across the country continue to bar pregnant and parenting students from activities, kick them out of school, pressure them to attend alternative programs, and penalize them for pregnancy-related absences,” the law center said in the report.
The Center’s vice president, Fatima Goss Graves, told the publication that her colleagues receive “several calls a month” from pregnant or parenting high school and college students because they are having “trouble” with their administrators. She says that generally, this compulsion to whisk young mothers away from the campus normally gets corrected upon educating students about their rights. Even Delhi Charter School claims that only “a handful” of young ladies were impacted by this Scarlett Letter policy and that each mother eventually returned to school to complete her studies.
Meanwhile, startling absent from Delhi’s campus pregnancy hunts is any accountability for the young fathers. Young girls don’t just go out on their own and get themselves pregnant. But, as usual, the blame rests firmly with young ladies who we still manage to uphold as sexual gatekeepers, perpetually there to police the morality of boys.
Furthermore, the fact that most campuses wouldn’t even be aware that showing a pregnant girl the door is flagrantly illegal isn’t particularly shocking. Given the discriminatory practices against pregnancy that are consistently executed in our workforce, it’s not all the out of step for some our scholastic institutions to think that they can get away with similar policies. Pregnancy-related discriminatory charges are up 35% in the last 10 years — and that’s just the reported instances of pregnancy workplace discrimination. For every low-income woman who can even scrape together enough resources to take her employers to court, there are untold numbers of stories in which pregnant women are faced with hostile employees, wage cuts, and decreased hours. Suddenly, being asked to leave your high school because you’re with child doesn’t seem so culturally atypical.