US schoolgirl sues school for expulsion when pregnant

A student in the United States has recently started a lawsuit against her school. She claims that the school humiliated her after she told staff that she had become pregnant.

A member of staff then proceeded to announce her pregnancy in a public assembly with all students and staff present.

In the court case the girl, Shantelle Hicks, also states that she was forced to leave her school, Wingate Elementary, because she is what the staff described as a ‘bad example’ for the other students. Ms Hicks, who is now 16, has recently given birth to her child and she is seeking damages from the school stating that they violated her rights under the constitution.

She has started the lawsuit with the assistance of the American Civil Liberties Union and has commented, “It was an incredibly embarrassing experience and I had no desire for the entire school to know that I’d become pregnant. The teachers had no right to single me out for this as it was my private business.”

The complaint Ms Hicks made stated that she was thrown out of school because she had become pregnant, however she was taken back in after four days when the school were contacted by the ACLU. The union reminded the school that it was illegal for them to expel a student simply because she had fallen pregnant.

After two weeks of being readmitted to the school, the school director called the 15-year-old up in front of the entire school during assembly and made the announcement that Hicks was pregnant.

This announcement was made before anyone else at the school knew of the pregnancy. The plaintiff is seeking punitive damages for the violation of her rights which entitle her to protection from pregnancy discrimination. The school have denied the allegations made in the lawsuit.

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