A public school has sparked outrage by forcing its female students to take pregnancy tests - and then kicking out those that come back positive or refuse to do so.
Delhi Charter School, in Delhi, Louisiana, has come under fire for its policy that campaigners say is 'clearly illegal under federal laws'.
Under the new rules, a teacher can 'require' a student to have a test if they suspect she could be pregnant.
Under fire: Delhi Charter School's policy to make female students take pregnancy tests is 'clearly illegal under federal laws' say campaigners (file picture)
If the test comes back positive, the policy states: 'The student will not be permitted to attend classes on the campus of Delhi Charter School.
'She will be required to pursue a course of home study. Delhi Charter School has established an environment whereby the conduct of its students must be in keeping with the school's goals and objectives relative to character development.'
The American Civil Liberties Union has blasted the 600-student school, with executive director Marjorie Esman saying: 'The pregnancy policy violates the rights of every girl at Delhi Charter School.
'Every girl is at risk of being subject to intrusive medical testing, and possibly forced out of school, for reasons that have nothing to do with her education.'
Controversial: Delhi Charter School's student pregnancy policy has drawn criticism for 'breaching the law'
She said the school's new rules 'violated Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and the Equal Protection Clause and the Due Process Clauses of the U.S. constitution'.
That federal law prohibits sex discrimination in federally funded education programs and activities, and explicitly mandates that schools cannot exclude any student from an education programme or activity.
It says that this 'includes any class or extracurricular activity, on the basis of such student’s pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy or recovery therefrom'.
Campaigners also say the policy is in violation of the Constitution's due process right to procreate, and equal protection.
This is because, they say, it treats female students differently from male students and relies on archaic stereotypes linked to sex and pregnancy.
Esman added: 'Male students who might also have engaged in sexual activity or be expecting children are not subjected to similar treatment.'
Galen Sherwin, of the ACLU's Women's Rights Project, also attacked the policy.
She said: 'The right to attend school and to participate fully in activities cannot be denied simply because a student is, or may be, pregnant.
'Pregnancy is not a disease, and schools may not treat it that way. The administrators of Delhi Charter School should be ashamed that they seek to deprive students of the benefits of going to school every day.'
The ACLU has asked the school to suspend its policy until it can be
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