Pregnant and
Stacy Ferguson
Escamilla & Poneck, LLP
Pregnancy Is the Most Common
Family –Related Reason …..
As Of Oct.2009:
Were Not Enrolled in High School
And Had Not Earned A High School
Diploma or Alternate Credential
Nearly 400,000 girls and young
women between 15 and 19 years
old gave birth in 2011, a rate of 34
per 1,000, according to the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention.
51% of young mothers who had with
a child before age 20 earn a HS
diploma by age 22
2% of young mothers who had a
child before age 18 earned college
degree by age 30
Supporting the Academic Success
of Pregnant and Parenting Students
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
Office of Civil Rights/US Department of
Education—June 2013
“No person in the United states shall, on the
basis of sex, be excluded from participation
in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected
to discrimination under any education
program or activity receiving Federal financial
US Department of Education
(OCR) Published New Material:
 New
Booklet Published Called “Supporting
the Academic Success of Pregnant and
Parenting Students
 Replaces
the 1991 Pamphlet called
Teenage Pregnancy and Parenthood
Issues Under Title IX of the Education
Amendments of 1972
Title IX Prohibits
Sexual Discrimination Based
On :
 Childbirth
 False Pregnancy
 Termination of Pregnancy
 Recovery From Any
of These Conditions
A school is prohibited from having any rule related
to a student’s parental, family or marital status that
treats students differently based on sex.
Under Title IX: Illegal to Exclude
A Pregnant Student From:
 Advanced
placement or
honors classes
 Extracurricular
 School Clubs
 Interscholastic
 Honor societies
 Opportunities for
student leadership
 Homecoming court
Officials Deny Pregnant Girls
The School Crown
Election Tampered With By Administrators
 Pregnant
Homecoming Contestant
Concerns school board
 Homecoming-queen contestants must
"serve as a role model for all young ladies”
 Maternity Prom Dresses Now Available
Students’ Pregnant Bellies
Banned From Yearbook Pics
Recent In News
Can a Doctor’s Note Be
Required To Stay In School Or
Participate in Activities?
From Title IX of Educational Amendment Act of 1972
 Not
unless all students
being treated by a
doctor must produce
a note
 No presumptions of an
inability to attend
 Even in the later stages
of pregnancy
Can You Give Them
Special Services or Treatment?
 Yes!
Same as other
students with temporary
medical conditions
 At-home
 Tutoring
 Ensure
individual teacher
policies regarding makeup work and absences
do not discriminate
 Class
Can Teachers Have Their Own
Policies About Attendance and
Make-Up Work?
The policies and practices
of individual teachers must
not discriminate
A teacher may not refuse
late work because of
pregnancy related
If grades are based on
attendance or
participation, pregnant
students need to be
allowed to earn the credits
another way
Special Services for Students
With A Temporary Medical
Condition Including Pregnant
Title IX
 Excused
absences for as long as doctor
deems medically necessary
 Return
to same academic and
extracurricular status as before
 Medical
certification to return to school
only if required from all others
The Office of Civil Rights States That
A Pregnant Student Must Be:
Allowed to Remain In Her
Regular Classes At Her
Regular School IF She
Chooses To Do So
All Alternative Programs
Must Be Voluntary
Providing Information Is Ok
May Not Pressure Any
Student To Attend An
Alternative Program
Participation In Special Instructional
Programs Must Be Voluntary
 Texas
– Pregnancy Education and
Parenting Program (“PEP”) now
Life Skills Program
 Each
LEA with a Life Skills program
must organize a program
designed to improve school
attendance, increase graduation
rates, and enhance parenting
skills for students who are
pregnant or who are parents and
at risk of dropping out of school
utilizing program objectives that
include certain minimum
Life Skills Program
Minimum Components
individual counseling, peer counseling, and selfhelp programs;
career counseling and job-readiness training;
child care for the students’ children on the campus
or at a child care facility in close proximity to the
transportation for children of students to and from
the campus or child care facility;
transportation for students, as appropriate, to and
from the campus or child care facility;
instruction related to knowledge and skills in child
development, parenting, and home and family
living; and
assistance to students in the program in obtaining
available services from government agencies or
community service organizations, including
prenatal and postnatal health and nutrition
All Alternative Programs Must Be
Comparable To Regular Programs:
 Must
Provide Extra-Curricular
and Enrichment Opportunities
 Not identical
 Vocational track only = No-n
Must Provide Clear Information
 Graduation requirements
 Credit transfers
 Course availability
What Are Some Examples of Assistance
That A School Must Provide to a
Pregnant Student?
A school must make
adjustments that are
reasonable and
Larger desk
Frequent trips to the
Temporary Access to
Cheerleader Tryouts and
Removal from The
Cheerleading Squad:
 No
rule that prohibits a pregnant student from doing
anything that any non-pregnant student has the
right to do for the sole reason that she is pregnant.
 Blanket prohibition violates Title IX
What About Other
Extracurricular Activities?
Prohibited from blanket
exclusion even if activity
is not operated directly
by the school
Example: After School
Care Program
Local nonprofit agency
rents schools facilities at
a reduced rate and
advertises and
promoted by school
Can’t Exclude Pregnant
Students Under These
Pregnancy Testing
Without Parental Consent
Practicing Preventive Law
Pregnancy Education and
Parenting (PEP) Program
Not Talking About Discussions
with Parents
 Alabama Case
Purchasing of Pregnancy
Testing Kits with Tax Payer
Making Testing Available to
Minors without Parent Approval
Before Hand
Is Pregnancy Testing By Public
School Legal?
Minors Can Consent
to Medical Treatment
Related to Pregnancy
Parents and
Community Are
Don’t Mention It
M.V. v. San Marcos CISD (5th Cir. 2007)
Silence Is Not Necessarily Golden
15 Year Old Student
Nurse Recommended
Pregnancy Test
Nurse Waited Outside
Bathroom Door
Tacit Acceptance By
 Student Felt Forced
 Worried About
Disciplinary Action If She
Nurse’s Involvement:
Took pregnancy test given by school nurse
“Notwithstanding that [school nurse] is entitled to
qualified immunity, it is also plain that this controversy
might have been averted had [school nurse]
convened a meeting with Marisa's parents at the
outset, rather than allowing them to learn after the
fact about the pregnancy test and [school nurse's]
encouraging Marisa to go on birth control pills at the
age of fifteen.”
Question of whether student was forced or not to take
Gruenke v. Michael Seip
(3rd Cir. 2000)
17 Year Old Student On Varsity Swim Team
Coach Suspicious of Pregnancy
Never Tried To Talk to Student or Her
Parents Directly
Threatened Gruenke with Removal for
Swim Competition if She Refused
Words of Wisdom: “In Loco Parentis”
Does Not Mean Displace Parents
Counseling Students on Private Family
Matters Can Overstep Boundaries of
School Authority
Policy Considerations:
Recommend Involvement
of Student’s Parent or
New York Case:
 Report to Social Worker
 Encourage Voluntary
 Schedule Meeting
 Reveal Pregnancy To
Somer Cipman and Chasity Glass v.
Grant County Schl. Dist. et. al., 30 F.
Supp 2d 975 (East.Dist KY 1998)
 Pregnant
students denied membership into honor
 The honor society required a demonstration of
outstanding scholarship, service, leadership, and
 Engaging in premarital sex….
 Holding:
Injunction granted
Is it Illegal To Harass A Student
Because Of Pregnancy?
 Yes!
Title IX Prohibits Harassment Based on
sex, Including Harassment Based on
Pregnancy or Related Conditions.
Forms of Harassing Conduct:
 Verbal Acts
 Name Calling
 Graphic and Written Statements
 Other Humiliating or Physically Threatening
How Are Public Schools Supposed
to Handle Sexual Harassment ?
Schools Must Take:
 Prompt and effective steps reasonably
calculated to end pregnancy-related
harassment, prevent its recurrence, and
eliminate hostile environment created.
 A violation occurs if harassment is
encouraged, tolerated, not adequately
addressed or ignored by school
Examples Of Harassment:
A student becomes pregnant, and now a group of
girls are repeatedly texting her during class and
tweeting about her at school, calling her a “slut” and
a “whore.”
A girl becomes pregnant, and fellow students have
been spreading rumors about her sexual behavior,
repeatedly asking her questions about the “baby
daddy,” inquiring how many times she’s had sex and
what position she and her partner were in when she
got pregnant, etc.
A student who’s pregnant has been repeatedly
sexually propositioned by a group of boys in her
class. They say things like, “we know you put out,” and
“why would a girl like you say no?”
Who is The Title IX Coordinator In
Your School District?
 School
Districts Must Designate
At Least One Employee
 Grievance procedures must be
adopted and published
 Coordinator Must Have Training
on Title IX
 Notice to employees students
of office address and phone
 Complaints to Office of Civil
OCR Has Spoken About Counselor’s
Role with Pregnant Students:
 Recognize
these students are more likely to
drop out
 Advise importance of staying in school
 Notify Them of school assistance
 Individual Graduation planning
 Academic credit recovery programs
 Contact drop outs
 Follow-up counseling for drop outs to provide
info about programs, services and supports to
help them return to school
 Support groups
Pregnant Student Claims
St. Louis College Discriminated
Against Her
Failing to excuse her
absences or allow missed
work to be made up
Academic penalties
Seeing This At College
Level More
Delhi Charter School Policy
Real Policy in Louisiana
“The school reserves the right to require any female
student to take a pregnancy test to confirm whether or not
the suspect student is in fact pregnant," the policy reads.
The policy also allows the school to refer the student to a
physician of its choice. "If the test indicates that the student
is pregnant, the student will not be permitted to attend
classes on the campus of Delhi Charter School."
Pregnant students wishing to continue attending Delhi
Charter will be required to enroll in a home study course
while pregnant.
Students who refuse to take a pregnancy test are "treated
as a pregnant student and will be offered home study
Child Care on Campus For
Parenting Students:
 Texas
Department of Protective and
Regulatory Services Oversees This
 Same Standards as other “Child Care
 Administrative Penalties for Violations
(2013 Legislative session amended Human Resources Code)
 “Controlling
Who May Participate in School
Child Nutrition Programs?
Any child of a student parent
in the Life Skills Program
(formally PEP) qualifies for
reimbursable meals under the
National School Lunch and
School Breakfast Program.
Economic status of the child or
student parent is not
considered for the eligibility.
They qualify simply because
the student parent is a
participant in the Life Skills
Must School Districts Provide Services
to Prenatal or Postpartum Pregnant
Students Enrolled in the District’s
Juvenile Justice Alternative
Education Program (JJAEP)?
 Mandatory
expellable = ineligible for Foundation
School Funding (Tex. Educ. Code § 37.011(h))
 Look to Your Memorandum of Understanding
Pregnancy Related Services
From the Texas Attendance Accounting Manual
Support services, including Compensatory Education Home
Instruction (CEHI), that a student receives during the
pregnancy prenatal and postpartum periods to help her
adjust academically, mentally, and physically and stay in
school. These services are delivered to a student when:
the student is pregnant and attending classes on a district
a valid medical necessity for confinement during the pregnancy
prenatal period prevents the student from attending classes on
a district campus, or
a valid medical necessity for confinement during the pregnancy
postpartum period prevents the student from attending classes
on a district campus.
CEHI: Compensatory
Education Home Instruction
From Attendance Accounting Manual
Mandatory component districts offer in a PRS program.
Provides academic services to the student at home or hospital
bedside when a valid medical necessity for confinement during the
pregnancy prenatal or postpartum periods prevents the student
from attending classes on a district campus.
Must consist of face-to-face instruction by a certified teacher of the
Substitute teachers can be used to provide CEHI; however, the
individual selected as the substitute must be a certified teacher.
Log to document the actual amount of prenatal and postpartum
CEHI each student receives must be maintained.
PRS program = optional
CEHI services = not optional for a PRS Program
Other support services = Optional for a PRS Program
2.41 PRS weighted funding while Pregnancy
Related Services are being provided to the
Documentation by campus officials, licensed
medical practitioners, and certified teachers
is required to claim PRS eligible days present
for funding
Students who do not come to school and
who do not receive CEHI and/or special
education homebound services must be
counted absent in accordance with the
charts provided in this section.
Support Services
Optional components of a PRS program that may be provided to
the student during the prenatal period of the pregnancy while the
student is attending school.
May be provided during the prenatal or postpartum periods of
pregnancy while the student is confined at home or hospital
bedside and receiving CEHI.
Supplemental in nature and should not take priority over or interfere
with the academic services the student receives.
Examples of Support Services That
Districts May Choose To Offer:
services, including the initial session when the
student discloses the pregnancy
health services, including services from the school nurse and
certified athletic trainer
transportation for the student and/or the student’s child(ren)
to school, child care facility, community service agencies,
health services, etc.
instruction (inside or outside the classroom) related to
parenting knowledge and skills, including child development,
home and family living, and appropriate job readiness training
child care for the student's child or children
schedule modifications
case management and service coordination (assistance in
obtaining services from government agencies and community
service organizations)
When A Student Comes to
You, Who Can You Tell?

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