UPDATE Thursday, August 9, 2:11PM: In the face of major backlash, the school has decided to reverse its discriminatory policy.
Yesterday morning, I learned about Delhi Charter School’s unethical and illegal school policy. The school has required teen girls to take pregnancy tests at the discretion of school officials. If a girl refused, she would be sent home from school. If her test came back positive, she would be sent home from school. Sound fair to you?
Sign a petition demanding that the school eliminate mandatory pregnancy tests and commit to giving pregnant students the same education, in the same place and at the same time, as all other students.
Not only is this policy unfair, it is illegal! Forcing a girl to take a pregnancy test is illegal. Sending a girl home from school for refusing is illegal. Sending a girl home for being pregnant is illegal. Women should never feel like they can lose their right to an education just for being a woman. This policy is discriminatory and unconstitutional.
Sex. Abortion. Parenthood. Power.
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Being in high school is tough as it is. Imagine being accused of being pregnant and forced to take a pregnancy test. As a former teen parent, I know this is unethical and just so wrong in so many ways. It has been 40 years since Title IX became a law and promised equal opportunities for boys and girls, but Delhi Charter School has demonstrated their lack of respect for our progression.
A school is intended to educate youth and provide them with a safe place to learn. What the Delhi school is teaching is to pass judgment, discriminate, and violate laws that don’t coincide with your personal beliefs. While boys are rightfully acquiring an education at Delhi, girls are pushed out and forced to face devastating consequences. Are the boys at Delhi Charter School having their rights stripped away for potentially being fathers? Are the boys at Delhi Charter School being pushed out for fathering children? Sadly, Delhi has exhibited disturbingly obvious sexism against women.
As a young parent, I can assure you that this ridiculous policy is no solution to any possible problem. When I was just 17 years old, school staff made it almost impossible for me to be in school and enjoy it. They made my life much harder than it had to be. Being an honor roll student with future goals, I knew I could not succeed in such a negative environment. If I didn’t have another option, I would have dropped out of school. Fortunately, I transferred myself to a public school that offered more support and even designated a person to be my coach and advocate. Not only did I graduate, I did it on time and maintained great grades in my honors classes throughout the year. But believe me when I say I had to stand up to staff on a daily basis to ensure I would graduate.
I am ashamed to see our educators making such poor decisions. Teen parents are capable of being wonderful students and amazing parents. Our lives are tough as it is. We don’t need others making it even harder for us to acquire our basic rights. Yesterday, I started my first petition against school officials. Please sign my petition and help me convince the Delhi Charter School to immediately drop their policy AND acknowledge that their policy is a violation of a woman’s rights.