It recently came out in the news…well, not in wide, mainstream news (though I think it should have) that a school in Louisiana, Delhi Charter School, was requiring girls to take pregnancy tests, and kicking out girls who either refused, or who were pregnant.
I learned about this through the aclu website linked by Unitewomen.org. http://www.aclu.org/blog/womens-rights-lgbt-rights-religion-belief-reproductive-freedom/get-tested-or-get-out-school (There was also a blog about it on Feministing)
The article from the aclu appeared on my facebook page three days ago. However, Delhi Charter School has had this rule on their books since 2006. Why nobody did anything about it until now is beyond me, but they were able to get away with forcing pregnancy tests on girls for a good 6 years. That’s inexcusable.
But school officials in Louisiana tried to make an excuse anyway. This morning it was announced that their “policy will be changed” (…to what?) and they “Didn’t know it was illegal.”
….They didn’t know that it was illegal to force pregnancy tests on girls and kick them out if they refused or were pregnant? I call absolute BULLSH**. How do you NOT figure that at least SOME part of that policy is illegal? Did they really think that there would be nothing unconstitutional about that? No, I’m sorry (I’m not actually sorry…) but I don’t believe for two seconds that they didn’t know that was illegal.
And even if they honestly did not know (I fully believe they did) why do they need the ACLU of Louisiana to tell them to, I dunno, not be a bunch of pervy misogynists? Seriously, this isn’t something they should have to be told not to do. It is a very sad, sad state of affairs when school officials actually have to have the ACLU come in and tell them “We’re going to sue you if you don’t stop invading the sexual privacy of high school girls.” Aside from that, girls don’t impregnate themselves. Women don’t reproduce by spore clouds. Why weren’t the boys being investigated to the same degree with DNA tests? Granted, that would be incredibly illegal too, but my point is, what was up with the lazer-focus on girls?
Y’know, I can answer that question myself. As Valenti herself would call it, “The Purity Movement” puts all emphasis on girls being the “gatekeepers” of sexuality and purity and they are punished for not guarding it well enough. A girl is seen as dirty and that she failed at keeping herself pure. Boys? Psh, that’s just boys being boys. This school’s policy is just another example of the disproportionate focus on female sexuality and “purity” in our culture.
It’s good news that this policy is going to be changed (I’d still like to know to what), but I don’t buy the “we didn’t know” excuse.