Louisiana Department Of Education Orders School To Drop Ban On Pregnant Students

Posted on August 8, 2012

Think Progress, August 8, 2012 by Tara Culp-Ressler

Louisiana education officials are requiring the Delhi Charter School to drop the “Student Pregnancy Policy” that bans pregnant students from attending classes on its campus. After the American Civil Liberties Union called the discriminatory policy unconstitutional and pressured the school with potential legal action, the Louisiana Department of Education has agreed that Delhi Charter School is in violation of federal law.

A letter from Michael Higgins, the director of law and policy in the Education Department’s Office of School Choice, asked the school to make an immediate change to the policy no later than August 16th:

In the letter, released to TODAY.com Tuesday evening, the state asks for a policy that “does not discriminate against pregnant students or students perceived to be pregnant” and says that “under no circumstances shall the school require any student to take a pregnancy test.”

The school, which has approximately 700 students from kindergarten to 12th grade, said earlier in the day that although there have never been any complaints about the policy, it was under legal review “to ensure that necessary revisions are made so that our school is in full compliance with constitutional law.”

After the ACLU’s letter to the Delhi Charter School on Monday brought public attention to the policy, the school was faced with significant backlash. An online petition urging the school to stop discriminating against pregnant students has garnered over 90,000 signatures in just over a day.

Posted in: Louisiana