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Expells Pregnant Teen, Then Humiliates Her at a School
Hicks was kicked out of school for four days after school
officials learned she was pregnant
A 15-year-old New Mexico teen was kicked out of school
then publicly humiliated all because she was pregnant,
according to the American Civil Liberties Union.
Court papers filed in US District Court by the ACLU on
behalf of Shantelle Hicks, who is in the eighth grade at
Wingate Elementary School in McKinley, N.M., said when
school officials found out she was pregnant, they first
booted her out of school.
Because the school, which brags on its website that it
provides "SUCCESS FOR ALL of our students"
receives public funding, discriminating against a
pregnant student is illegal.
Four days later, after the ACLU of New Mexico sent the
school a letter, she was allowed back in but not
exactly welcomed with open arms, according to the suit.
She said she walked into a school assembly where the
school director and another staff member allegedly forced
her to stand up and announce that she was pregnant.
"It was so embarrassing to have all the other kids
staring at me as I walked into the gymnasium," said
Hicks in a statement. "I didn't want the whole
school to know I was pregnant because it's not their
business, and it wasn't right for my teachers to single
School officials reportedly said they didn't want to set
a bad example for other students.
The ACLU named the school officials who singled her out
and the school district in the suit.
It's seeking damages and declaratory relief of the
violations of Hicks' constitutional rights, according to
their press release.
In a statement released to KOAT-TV, the Bureau of Indian
Affairs, which runs the school, acknowledged the lawsuit
but said "we are unable to comment as to the
allegations, since the matter is in litigation.
They insisted, however, that "the Department strives
to protect the rights of students it serves."
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