The National Honor Society discriminated against two pregnant teen-agers by rejecting membership in the organization and should be ordered to accept them, lawyers for the girls argued Tuesday before U.S. District Judge William Bertelsman.
Somer Chipman, 17, and Chasity Glass, 18, said they met all requirements of society membership at Grant County High School in Williamstown, Ky., but were excluded because they were pregnant.
The American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing the girls, contends the decision was illegal and discriminatory.
"If they said, 'Anyone we catch engaging in sexual activity won't be a member of the National Honor Society,' . . . we wouldn't be here if that were the rule," said Sara Mandelbaum, senior staff attorney with the ACLU's Women's Rights Project.
"It's not about who they catch, it's about who becomes pregnant. . . . Only girls can be punished under that kind of rule."
But attorney Suzanne Cassidy, representing the School Board, said, "Participation in the National Honor Society is a privilege; it is not a right."