The Delhi school targeted this week by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was ordered by the Louisiana Department of Education to change a policy that forced pregnant students and students suspected of being pregnant from school.
Delhi Charter School president Albert Christman — who previously had said he was unaware of the policy's discrimination — said it was "intended to protect students from ridicule and harassment," according to the ACLU of Louisiana. Louisiana Department of Education policy director Michael Higgins wrote a letter to the school, demanding it rescind the policy by Aug. 16. The letter demanded a policy that "does not discriminate against pregnant students or students perceived to be pregnant” and that “under no circumstances shall the school require any student to take a pregnancy test.”
"They ordered them," said ACLU of Louisiana president Marjorie Esman, "so they have no choice." The school policy was to subject students to a school-selected physician for a pregnancy test, and if they didn't comply or are found pregnant, the students would be asked to leave:
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 the Delhi Charter School.
The ACLU of Louisiana also submitted a letter to the school on Monday, demanding the school remove its policy, which violates Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibiting sex discrimination in schools and programs receiving federal funds. An online petition asking the same collected more than 100,000 signatures.