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Pregnant NM teen humiliated at Bureau of Indian Affairs Boarding School


We normally only post stories about Haskell Indian Nations University. However this one so outraged us we felt we had to post it after receiving several e-mails about it:

A 15-year-old girl was initially kicked out of a Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding school then forced to stand before a school assembly to announce that she was pregnant, bringing public embarrassment to the eighth-grader, according to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Court papers filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in New Mexico said Shantelle Hicks, who is Navajo and attends Wingate Elementary School in McKinley, N.M., was embarrassed at an assembly by the school director and another staff member over her pregnancy. The lawsuit said Hicks was forced to stand before the entire school at an assembly and announced that she was pregnant, even though only three school staff members knew.

"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 me out."

The ACLU of New Mexico said the girl's discovery in October that she was pregnant came about three weeks before the assembly. Hicks and her mother said they told the director of the middle school and two other staff members.

School officials initially responded by kicking her out of school but the ACLU of New Mexico sent a demand letter to the school, informing them that it was illegal to deny a student access to education because of pregnancy status.

Wingate readmitted Hicks after four missed days of school. However, the lawsuit said Hicks was placed in front of the assembly and told to announce her pregnancy.

A spokeswoman for the Bureau of Indian Affairs did not immediately return a phone call to The Associated Press.

For full story please link to: www.denverpost.com › News › Breaking News

haskellnews commentary 03/07/2012


bobandmywife 6 years ago

Taxpayers Alert ! The same fools Larry Echohawk and Keith Moore run all BIE/BIA schools. Larry Echohawk came to Haskell with tears running down his cheeks promising to help the students.....no help ever came. Then in the last Haskell News blog we have Keith Moore waving his hands high in the air promising change. These two need to move on to Hollywood. That is where their true callings are. We feel very sorry for this little girl and hope the entire staff is fired for what happened..why didn't any of them speak up for her and say this will not happen? Not on my watch! Next thing you know the BIE will be handing out scarlett letters for their pregnant Indian students to wear.

Mike Ford 5 years, 12 months ago

haskellnews is the michelle malkin of this area. I'm not defending any of the around the fort people whom the bia usually hires or the actions of the new mexico school. shaming or ostricizing is part of many indigenous cultures to teach life lessons to youth. teen pregnancy is probably frowned upon more by non indians than it is amongst tribal people who have a whole family system of relatives to take care of and raise indigenous children in the ways of their respective tribes. i don't speak as an expert but as someone whose witnessed whole indigenous families raise their nieces and nephews in their tribal traditions and concepts. christianity's injection into tribal cultures leads to this kind of over the top public scorn as the values of christians have historically superceded tribal values in some parts of indian country. what is your intention haskellnews? you throw this article out for what? if you're being like bill cosby and trying to make indigenous people look in the mirror and shape up...fine. otherwise the bad laundry sure looks good in the public eye?????

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