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School Kicks out & Forbids Return of Pregnant Students

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Waterstar    90

In Louisiana (Delhi Charter School), any young woman who is a student in the school suspected to be pregnant must take a pregnancy test and if the test is positive, she is kicked out of the school, unable to return. Young women are being forced to take back-to-school pregnancy tests and the same "two lines = three strikes" law applies.

What do you think about this?


Delhi Charter School In Louisiana Forces Girls To Take Pregnancy Tests, Kicks Out Students Who Test Positive Or Refuse

One Louisiana public school's no-nonsense approach to preventing teen pregnancy is "in blatant violation of federal law and the U.S. Constitution," the American Civil Liberties Union says.

According to Delhi Charter School policy, students "suspected" of being pregnant are required to take a pregnancy test. If the test proves positive, or if a student declines to take the test, she'll no longer be permitted to take classes on campus and must either transfer to another school or begin a home school program. From the student 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. 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.

If a student is determined to be pregnant and wishes to continue to attend Delhi Charter School, the student will be required to pursue a course of home study that will be provided by the school… Any student who is suspected of being pregnant and who refuses to submit to a pregnancy test shall be treated as a pregnant student and will be offered home study opportunities. If home study opportunities are not acceptable, the student will be counseled to seek other educational opportunities.

The ACLU is demanding that Delhi immediately suspend the policy, noting that it violates Title IX, which prohibits sex discrimination in federally funded educational programs. According to Title IX, schools cannot be excluded from "any class or extracurricular activity, on the basis of such student's pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy or recovery therefrom."

The school also notes in its handbook that it reserves the right to send girls suspected of being pregnant to a physician of the school's choice. Various other policies in the 216-page manual permit "reasonable corporal punishment of unruly students," defined as "paddling of the student's buttocks," and prohibition of public displays of affection because they "show disdain for good taste." According to the handbook, PDA include, but are not limited to "holding hands on school premises, hugging, kissing, leaning against each other and sitting in each others' laps."

In a letter to Delhi school officials Aug. 6, ACLU of Louisiana Executive Director Marjorie Esman points out that school policies also violate the Equal Protection Clause and Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment "by imposing an irrebuttable presumption that pregnant students are unable to continue to attend classes" and "raises serious concerns of vagueness in violation of the First Amendment."

Delhi's school policies are surfacing as the education gap between teen moms and those who didn't have a teen birth grows. According to a 2010 report by nonprofit research center Child Trends, 51 percent of teen mothers have a high school diploma, compared with 89 percent of women who were not teen mothers. For teens who give birth before the age of 18, their likelihood of graduating high school is even lower -- just 38 percent have a diploma.

According to a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, Louisiana holds the sixth highest teen pregnancy rate in the country, and "lack of education is a big factor," Louisiana State University student Shea Leger told The Daily Reveille.

The ACLU notes that about 70 percent of teenagers who give birth drop out of high school, in part due to actions by schools that force pregnant students out. Data from the National Center for Educational Statistics show that pregnancy is already a leading cause of dropping out of high school -- 30 percent of teenage girls cited pregnancy or parenthood as a reason for leaving before completion.

Overall, high school dropouts cost taxpayers between $320 billion and $350 billion a year in lost wages, taxable income, health, welfare and incarceration costs, among others. Dropouts are also a cost to themselves: of the 3.8 million students that started high school last fall, a quarter won't earn a diploma. Those who don't finish will earn $200,000 less than those who do over their lifetime.

Dropouts are also not eligible for 90 percent of the jobs in our economy, and a student drops out of high school every 26 seconds in the U.S., contributing to a rising unemployment rate.

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Cynique    1,401

Why do we always have to pamper and enable young girls who get pregnant, and make special dispensations for them while young ladies who have followed the rules are ignored? There is a chorus of voices raised by female teens, complaining that if they want to be rewarded with all of the grants and programs and financial aid that many schools all over the country set up for pregnant young students, then it's to your advantage to get pregnant! It's like the schools adjust to the infringments instead of the students adjusting to the requirements. Who's in charge, here??

If an alternative home study program that allows a student to keep up with her class is available, then I think that's all that should be necessary. These girls know ahead of time what's expected of them and if you ain't pregnant, then you don't have to try and circumvent the rules by refusing to take the test. Where's the ACLU when employers require drug tests?

A better atmosphere is provided where there are no shameless students parading around the halls of learning showing off their baby bumps, hardly able to wait for the day when they can come back up to school to proudly show off their newborns and bask in all of the fawning.

I am definitely in favor of birth control programs set up by schools so that sexually-active teens can avoid pregnancy. This ounce of prevention is the way to save the pound of money that a pregnant teen-ager is eventually going to cost the government.

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Waterstar    90

I do not disagree with everything you've said, yet I would ask about the point that you made about what this will cost the government. Do you think that a teenager who has a child and a high school diploma will cost more or less than a teenager who has a child and no high school diploma? In either case, these are mostly young women of low SES, this is reality. It is also reality that a high school education these days is not much at all and a college degree is not even that much more in these days. Do you really think that the government is going to come out spending less with such initiatives?

The flip side of your point about this initiative being a deterrent re: pregnancy is this. School is looked at totally differently these days. There are so many students who HATE going, students who would LOVE a reason to not have to go. Pregnancy? Why not! Beats having to go to school in many cases anyway. What kind of money is the government saving with this kind of initiative which actually might encourage more pregnancy than less of it when much money will more than likely have to go out for food stamps, WIC, housing, medical, etc.? Plus, these young women might have even more children after being kicked out, especially if they feel that they have no hope for any other type of future. What happens to the young men who impregnate these women? Are they being kicked out of any schools for this? My guess is that many of them are probably not even in school.

I think that this initiative is problematic for several reasons, but the most major reason to me is that it offers no real programs to help counter the conditions which make the cycle that the school system is trying to attack exist in the first place. Just because a young woman gets pregnant does not mean that she is not intelligent or that she does not have the potential to be successful in her academic/professional/business endeavors. Homeschooling is not going to properly address these young women's academic needs and furthermore, these young women should not be treated like little Hester Prynes with p's on their chests just because they've become pregnant. Things are really different these days. Children are exposed to a whole lot more a whole lot sooner and though I am not saying that this is 'cool', I'm just acknowledging that it's different. You probably had a father to help put you on to a lot of the things that you needed to know in reference to handing yourself in a certain way with young men. You probably had love in your environment. I know that I did. However, I know that the majority of these young sisters simply do not. Many do not care, so they don't have to try to understand, but for some of us who see these things up close and personally everyday and actually care about what is going on with our people, it's often a different case.

It is my belief that this initiative will do more to worsen things than it will do to better things. Issuing such negative sanctions without plans to put these students (pregnant or not) on the path to self empowerment is not the way that a community is empowered. Who is even talking to these students about sex? I wonder if the school even has sex education or if the only sex education is the knowledge that if they get pregnant, they' out. It kind of reminds me of a young man who could vividly remember how his parents would get upset when he brought f's home yet he could not remember these same people helping him with his homework.

Speaking of government funds, this charter school is a Title IX school; it receives Title IX funding. This initiative is in violation of Title IX rules and regulations. I don't know much about this particular school, but it would be interesting to see if this school even made AYP. What this initiative does is to single out students of low SES and worsen their chances of overcoming the challenges of their surroundings. Students are being punished for cycles which have existed long before they were even born and initiatives like these are not helping them to break these cycles but to continue them and probably on worse levels. That is not going to help "the big picture"...Unless of course the whole point is to maintain the American caste system/apartheid.

Why are shameless students being singled out while the shameless society that they come from is not being singled out? Sure the situation should be looked at on the micro level, but the examination of things on the macro level should not continue to be neglected.

I think that there is a difference between enabling and empowering. There need to be programs in place that can actually help these young women out in this world. Many of them will graduate with no real preparation or plans for college and no marketable skills or knowledge of how to start/maintain a business, That does not at all mean that they do not have the potential to have either or all of those things above. Too often, it is not a lack of a student's potential, rather a lack of the cultivation of that potential. The majority of people who actually have the ability to help to cultivate these young minds would rather be apathetic in their approach.

These young men and women often feel as though they have no way out and we are not doing much to show them anything different.

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Cynique    1,401

Not all young people are shameless and lacking in motivation. And there are plenty of diamonds in the rough. The ones who become burdens on society are the those who are a part of a replicating pattern of babies-having-babies. This is a chosen lifestyle and entrenched mind-set that is part of a sub culture.

Those who escape the ghetto trap, are a commendable testament to the fact that blaming society for everything can become a crutch, and that personal responsibility figures into the equation as well as "tough love".

Every argument can be supported by a set of statistics and their percentages which when translated into actual numbers paint a different picture. Reality is what it is. Success and failure are an inevitable part of life.

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Troy    923

Apparently teenage pregnancy has reached epidemic proportions in LA. It sounds like folks there are earnestly trying to do something about it. It is really easy for outsiders to tell others the 'right" thing to do when they never have to live with the disastrous outcomes.

Of the set of issues preventing kids from obtaining a HS diploma, discouraging them from making babies during high school offers big rewards with relatively little effort. The fact that the school's effort to prescribe a consequence for children conceiving a babies, is causing controversy is astonishing given the severity of the situation.

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