Arkansas Mom Says Christian School Interfered With Daughter's Pregnancy
TEXARKANA, Ark. – The mother of a Trinity Christian School student says schoool officials pressured her daughter into revealing her pregnancy and forced the girl into medical testing and counseling without notifying her family.
A lawsuit alleging false imprisonment and civil rights violations names the school's principal, Bible teacher, counselor and administrator, along with the school and the church with which it is affiliated. The school's attorney denies the accusations.
The woman, identified only as Mother Doe, says Principal Larry Berry expelled the girl last May after he learned the girl was pregnant. She also says Berry directed school counselor Brad Watson and Bible teacher Shannan Morgan to take the girl to the First Choice Pregnancy Center.
"The pregnancy center interviewed, counseled and tested Jane Doe without the consent or knowledge of her mother and disseminated her private medical information to Ms. Morgan and Mr. Watson without consent or authorization," the lawsuit says.
The pregnancy center said it respects patient confidentiality. "We are not in the practice of giving anyone information on our clients," executive director Kimberly Banks said.
Doe says the girl wasn't allowed to finish the 2007-08 school year even though only two weeks remained in the final semester.
School lawyer Danny Cook said that, before the lawsuit was filed, the school received a letter demanding "a huge sum of money." He said the mother was "gold-digging" and that the school looked forward to a jury hearing its side of the story.