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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