A Louisiana public charter school drew criticism this week for requiring female students "suspected" of being pregnant to take pregnancy tests—and expelling students who tested positive. But a national outcry has led the school to scrap the rule, according to school offiials.
No one at Delhi Charter School in rural northeast 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 change was prompted by a letter from the ACLU of Louisiana that pointed out that the policy violated federal law and the Constitution. In its response to the change, the ACLU noted that Christman "claimed that the policy was intended to protect students from ridicule and harassment."
"Blaming the victim is never the appropriate response to misconduct," Marjorie Esman, executive director of the ACLU of Louisiana, said in the release. "If students at Delhi are being harassed, the school's responsibility is to protect them while ensuring their education."
Dehli claims that "just a handful" of female students had been affected by the policy since it was instated in 2006. But when students return to school next week, it will no longer be in effect.