Shantelle Hicks says she was humiliated when staffers at her New Mexico school forced her to disclose the fact that she was pregnant during a school-wide assembly.
“It was so embarrassing to have all the other kids staring at me as I walked into the gymnasium,” said Hicks, according to news affilate KOB. “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 me out.”
Initially, 15-year-old Hicks was kicked out of school for being pregnant. But after lawyers from the ACLU told administrators at Wingate Elementary School–a K-8 public boarding school for Native American children–that it was illegal to deny Hicks access to education because she was pregnant, they let her back in. However, two weeks later, she was forced to go before the school and admit she was pregnant.
With the assistance of the ACLU, Hicks recently filed a lawsuit against her former school. She asserts they violated her constitutional rights to education and discriminated against her because she was pregnant. The lawsuit alleges that school officials told Hicks she would be a “bad example” to others and asked her to leave the school, but she wanted to stay.
According to the Huffington Post, “The lawsuit was filed on March 6th and seeks punitive damages and declaratory relief for violation of constitutional rights to equal protection and of the Title IX prohibition against sex and pregnancy discrimination in education.”
What do you think about the school’s decision to out Hicks in front of the entire school?