A Charter school in Delhi, Louisiana has mandated that it must be allowed to see inside a girl’s uterus if she wants to attend their classes. If she objects to this invasion of privacy – or, worse, submits and has a positive pregnancy test – she risks being banned from the school, and forced into home-schooling.
Please note, this is not from The Onion or a Saturday Night Live skit ridiculing the south. This is a real school, with real kids and now, a real ACLU challenge.
So, being pregnant and under 18 in this Louisiana school means you not only have to notify your parents (or go to court and beg a judges approval) if you want an abortion, thanks to their Parental Consent Law – victims of incest and child abuse are not exempt from this requirement, raising serious child safety concerns – you also get to worry about being tossed out of your school, regardless of how you became pregnant or whether you even intend to carry to term.
The school’s policy isn’t just illegal under Title IX, it’s downright nauseating; the shame society heaps on to pregnant teens is bad enough without making them pee in a cup on command. The creators of this draconian punishment are probably the same people who spread the “welfare queen” myth because oh-shit-oh-my-god-the-injustice 0.2% of their taxes go to feed poor children.
Not surprisingly, this isn’t even the first time charter schools have embarrassed the great state of Louisiana. Just this past June, the institution calling itself “Accelerated Christian Education” was caught teaching students that evolution is just a conspiracy, holding up the Loch Ness Monster as proof of Creationism. Shortly after that little scandal, Rep. Valarie Hodges was shocked to discover that the education bill funding religious schools in her state would go so far as to cover all religions, not just her brand of Christianity. She promptly withdrew her support.
History demonstrates that fact-based sexual health information, teaching kids how to avoid unintended consequences in the first place, remains the most effective course of action for a school so worried about teen pregnancy. Sadly, there are those in the Republican party which is against common sense, wishing to base health decisions on biblical sources and claiming that as moral.
The executive director of Louisiana Association of Charter Schools admitted to The News Star that this may be “problematic”. The school itself has yet to respond to the ACLU or the press.
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