As a former teen mom, I know how hard it is to stay in school and graduate on time when you're pregnant or taking care of a new baby. So I was shocked to learn that the Delhi Charter School in Delhi, Louisiana is shaming and suspending pregnant students -- and imposing mandatory pregnancy tests on students who "might" be pregnant.
Students at Delhi Charter School -- which is publicly funded -- who are suspected of being pregnant are forced to take mandatory pregnancy tests. If they refuse, they're told to stay home or transfer. And if they test positive, they're told to stay home or transfer.
This discrimination is illegal. But the administration at Delhi Charter School seems to be more interested in making sure pregnant girls can't get an education than in obeying federal law.
That's why I started this petition to tell the Delhi Charter School administration to stop forcing girls to take pregnancy tests, and to stop shaming and suspending pregnant students and students who refuse to take the tests.
Does this kind of shaming stop teen pregnancies and build stronger, better educated communities? No. I know because I was a teen mom at 17, and now I work with teen moms every day as the Teen Parent Ambassador Coordinator for Brigham Women's Hospital in Boston.
7 years ago, I told teachers and administrators at my high school I was pregnant, thinking they'd want to help me graduate and build a future for myself and my child. Instead, they made me feel ashamed and unwelcome, and made it almost impossible for me to attend classes, jeopardizing my education and my future.