Delhi Charter School: Stop Discriminating Against Pregnant Students!


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.


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  1. Signed. Discriminating against pregnant teens does not prevent teen pregnancies, they are only depriving these teens of their rights.

  2. The girls wear the figurative ‘Scarlet A’, while the boys walk free.
    Positively Medieval.

  3. Denial of education for girls.  Boys are excepted.  
    I was under the impression that one of the reasons the US was at war in Afghanistan was to bring the democracy to those that were being terrorized by the Taliban. 
    Talk about hypocrisy.

  4. Just to clarify: in the US, aren’t Charter Schools free to come up with their own admissions criteria and rules, which the puplis and their parents know about before they choose (to attend/send to) the school?

  5. Signed. My granddaughter is 17. Terrible if she was thrown from school in case she would become pregnant. We seem not to be able to get rid of the Middle Ages.

  6. RJMoore – Just to clarify: in the US, aren’t Charter Schools free to come up with their own admissions criteria and rules,

     That should be checked out.  I don’t know as I’m in the UK, but if the action is illegal then some support in finding alternative caring education – possibly in some private school or system, followed by suing the Delhi Charter School for the costs + compensation for the disruption of their education, or breach of contract.In the UK, if a pupil moves schools (for whatever reason), the funding moves with them to the new school.

  7. The school said it is changing its policy re. pregnant students. The school said it didn’t know such a policy was illegal!! ( LA Times)

  8. Signed and will forward, copied to FFRF just to be sure action will be taken.  Thats the problem with religion – instant loss of human empathy. The doctrines of bigotry must be brought to a state of collapse. I work every day to do my part, I hope all the people who comment in here are ACTIVE in their communities breaking the spell.

  9. Good point, do the boys that helped get them pregnant also get expelled?

    (not that that would be in any way right either!, but still I do wonder)

  10.  Discrimation of the most discraceful kind. But not a surprise – discrimination is what charter schools are about.

    There is also no reason to believe the student would be be worse off if she went to the local public school.

    Research has demonstrated that once socio economic factors are taken into account students in charter schools fare no better and in many cases worse than if they went to the local public schools.

    Parents are doing their children no favour, either educationally or socially, in sending their children to charter schools.

  11. >Research has demonstrated that once socio economic factors are taken into account….

    Is that not a bit like saying once you exclude weight issues, there is little difference between those inside Weight Watchers and those outside?! Socio-economic factors exist, and they are surely as important a consideration as any other, no? Anyway….

    The school has admitted it acted improperly in excluding the girl in this case, so that seems to be that. I presume it will have to allow the girl back in to complete her education, or it will face a very costly lawsuit. I wonder, though, is it wrong in principle for a school to ‘discriminate’ in this way (if the issue of govt. funding was not a factor in determining the school’s policy). The reason I ask is that schools throughout the world have rules regarding the conduct of their pupils, and breaching of these rules can lead to a pupil’s being excluded from the school, for e.g. rules re. dress, alcohol, smoking, drugs, piercings, sexual conduct, refusal to play sports, anti-social behaviour etc etc. Could you not make a case that excluding kids (who, I presume, are under-age in respect of sexual activity, in the eyes of the law) who are pregnant is no more unfair than excluding them for any number of other infractions of the school’s code? 

    Im not saying I necessarily agree with such a policy, but I wonder if it is wrong. Could you say that such a policy is a reasonable attempt to tackle the problem of underage/umwanted pregnancy?

  12. I forget the details but not too long ago a state here in the US (or maybe something in congress or something) was tossing around the idea of mandatory paternity tests for supposed fathers (sorry for my bad phrasing) for adults.

    Can I ask that liberals (US liberals) talk with their friends about the wrongs of charter schools. 

    edited: The state is New Jersey.

  13. There’s really no excuse for this kind of mistreatment. I’m wondering–what’s this school’s position on sex ed? Abstinence?

    Shaming a pregnant girl isn’t going to deter other girls from getting pregnant. I have some surprising news for the people who run this school: As long as there have been teenagers, teenagers have been having sex. You can’t stop it. If you really want to deter teen pregnancy, teach decent sex ed.

    This is Louisiana we’re talking about, though. This is by far the most corrupt State in the Union.

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