Pregnancy and Title IX

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Accommodating Pregnant Students 

It is important for all members of the Lee College community to know that pregnant and parenting students have certain rights under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (known as "Title IX"). This federal legislation prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs and activities which includes pregnancy and parental status

Based on Title IX, not discriminating against a pregnant student means granting her leave "for so long a period of time as is deemed medically necessary by the student's physician," and then effectively reinstating the student "to the status which she held when the leave began."

This generally means that pregnant students should be treated as if they had a temporary disability, and then given an opportunity to make up missed work wherever possible. Extended deadlines, makeup assignments, and incomplete grades that can be completed at a later date. To the extent possible, pregnant students should be placed in the same position of academic progress that they were in when they took leave. The plausibility of doing so is not governed by an individual faculty member's class rules or policies, but by the nature of the work. Whenever the class work is of a type that it can be completed at a later date — such as papers, quizzes, tests, and even presentations — that option must be made available to the student.

In situations where the temporal particularities of the task do not allow for a "break," such as clinical rotations, large performances, and some lab or group work, the institution should work with the student to devise an alternative path to completion.

Ideally, students will always work with their instructors, as well as any support systems that the institution has in place, to come up with a plan for how to handle their absence and get back on track as quickly and comfortably as possible. In order to encourage this, the institution should post conspicuous notices directing students to a clear pregnancy policy and any responsible offices, including the office of disability services (or its equivalent) and the Title IX Coordinator.

For more information or support, students and employees should reach out to the Title IX Coordinator

Jose Martinez
281.425.6546 |

Additional Resources

Know Your Rights: Pregnant or Parenting? Title IX Protects You From Discrimination At School — Handout from the U.S. Department of Education (Office of Civil Rights)

The Pregnant Scholar — Interactive website for both faculty and students regarding Title IX and Pregnancy.