Pregnant and Parenting Students 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 assistance.” 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 : Pregnancy 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 programs School Clubs Interscholastic sports 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 school 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 instruction Ensure individual teacher policies regarding makeup work and absences do not discriminate Class participation grades? 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 absences 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 Students: 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 components: 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 campus; 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 programs. 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 About: 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 responsive Larger desk Frequent trips to the restroom Temporary Access to Elevators 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 Circumstances 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 Dollars 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 Unaware Policies/Procedures 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 Student Felt Forced Worried About Disciplinary Action If She Refused 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 test 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 Guardian New York Case: Report to Social Worker Encourage Voluntary Disclosure Schedule Meeting Reveal Pregnancy To Parents 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 society The honor society required a demonstration of outstanding scholarship, service, leadership, and character. 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 Conduct 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 employees. 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 number Complaints to Office of Civil Rights 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 pregnancy-related 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 opportunities." Child Care on Campus For Parenting Students: Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services Oversees This Same Standards as other “Child Care Operations” Administrative Penalties for Violations (2013 Legislative session amended Human Resources Code) “Controlling Persons” 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 Program. 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 campus, 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 district. 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 Funding 2.41 PRS weighted funding while Pregnancy Related Services are being provided to the student. 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: counseling 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?