This week a charter school in Delhi, Louisiana was called out by the ACLU for blatant Title IX violations when it was discovered that the school had a policy of kicking out pregnant students. A Louisiana Department of Education spokesperson said he “did not know the state’s policies for pregnant students.” It is unacceptable that in the year 2012 so few lawmakers, school officials, teachers know that Title IX prohibits discrimination against pregnant and parenting students.
NWLC’s report, “A Pregnancy Test for Schools” clearly delineates the rights of pregnant and parenting students in a convenient Bill of Rights.
- You have the right to be treated with dignity and respect.
- You have the right to be free of discrimination. No one can kick you out of school because you are pregnant or a parent.
- Your school must excuse absences due to pregnancy or childbirth for as long as your doctor says it is necessary. All of your teachers are required to give you a reasonable amount of time, after the conclusion of those absences, to make up the work you missed.
- Separate programs or schools for students who are pregnant or parents must be completely voluntary. You cannot be forced to attend a separate school.
- You have the right to the same opportunities as other students. If you attend a separate program, the classes and the activities offered must be equal to those at a mainstream school.
- Special services that are provided for temporarily disabled students must also be provided for pregnant students. If temporarily disabled students get at-home tutoring to help them keep up with work, so should students who miss school because of pregnancy or childbirth.
- Pregnant and parenting students do not have to turn in a doctor’s note to continue going to school or to participate in activities unless all students with a medical condition are required to do so.
- You have the right to be free of harassment and bullying. This includes sexual harassment, like being called a “slut” or having sexual rumors spread about you at school.
- You have a right to privacy. Teachers and other school officials do not have the right to disclose your pregnancy to anyone without your permission.
- You have the right to be free of retaliation. If you complain to school officials or your Title IX coordinator, teachers and administrators cannot retaliate or punish you for speaking out.
Be sure to check out the full report for more details!