The Straits Times
Published on Aug 09, 2012

US school stops kicking out pregnant students


NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A United States (US) school is changing a policy that kicked pregnant students out of class and required them to be taught at home, the school's board chairman said on Wednesday.

No one at Delhi Charter School in rural Louisiana realized there was anything wrong with the policy until the American Civil Liberties Union's state chapter threatened to sue, said chairman Albert Christman. The policy has gotten "everybody up in a roar," he said.

The school required students who were suspected of being pregnant to take a pregnancy test. If they refused, or tested positive, they had to be home-schooled. The ACLU said the policy violated Title IX of the 1972 federal education law, which requires equal opportunities for both sexes.

Too many schools do not realise pregnant students should receive equal treatment, the National Women's Law Center said in a June report. "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 programmes, and penalise them for pregnancy-related absences," the law centre said in the report.