12 Year-Old Forced to Take Pregnancy Test, Lawsuit Filed Against Girl’s School
by Steven Ertelt
February 10, 2009
Nevada City, CA (LifeNews.com) — The parents of a 12-year-old girl have filed a lawsuit against a California school district after local school officials forced their daughter to submit to a pregnancy test. Attorneys with the Pacific Justice Institute are representing the student and her parents, who had no knowledge of the test.
In March 2008, Steve Davis, a counselor at Seven Hills Middle School, pulled the student, whose initials are C.R., out of class.
Davis had heard rumors from another student that the young girl was pregnant and demanded to know wether that information was true. The girl denied she was pregnant and told Davis that students had spread false rumors about her in the past.
Instead of accepting the girl’s denial as fact or contacting her parents, Davis obtained a pregnancy test from the school nurse and ordered the girl into the bathroom to give a urine sample. Assuming she had no choice, the girl complied and the test came back negative.
The young student was embarrassed and humiliated and her parents were upset with school officials when they found out from their daughter about Davis’ actions. Neither Davis nor any other school officials, even after the test, communicated that a pregnancy test had been done on their child.
The family contacted Troy Vahidi, an affiliate attorney of Pacific Justice Institute.
Vahidi and PJI staff attorneys sought an apology from the school district, but officials would not comply.
As a result, the PJI team filed a suit for the girl’s parents in Nevada County Superior Court seeking damages for violation of the girl’s right to privacy as well as emotional distress.
"The school counselor had no right to force an emotionally fragile twelve-year-old to take a pregnancy test," Vahidi told LifeNews.com in a statement.
"She was humiliated, and her privacy rights were trampled. Every minor has the right to make sensitive decisions such as taking a pregnancy test in consultation with her parents and medical providers," he added.
Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute, agreed.
"Parents have enough to worry about with sex education being taught in public schools without now having to wonder whether their daughters will be forced to take pregnancy tests. This was a clear breach of parental trust," he said.
Superintendent Roger Steel responded to the suit and told KCRA-TV that, "There is no merit in the claim," and referred further questions to the school district’s attorney.
Davis told the television station he had no comment.
Related web sites:
Pacific Justice Institute – https://www.pacificjustice.org
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