Pregnant & Parenting Students Rights

Know Your Rights

  • Pregnant and parenting students are protected under Title IX, a federal law established in 1972 that protects people from discrimination based on sex that occurs in education programs or activities
  • Educational institutions must provide pregnant or parenting students the same access to school programs and educational opportunities that are available to other students.
  • Pregnant and parenting students are protected from harassment based on sex, including harassment because of pregnancy or related conditions.  
  • Schools cannot pressure a student to alter their educational plans though there may be times when a professor and student need to work together to create a plan that best supports the education of the student and still meets the requirements of the class.
  • Excused absences are provided due to pregnancy and childbirth as a doctor deems necessary. In addition, pregnant students are allowed to make up any work missed while out.
  • Teachers are expected to understand the Title IX requirements related to excused absences/medical leave, including a student’s right to choose to take leave or not and the right to make up pregnancy-related missed work. Instructors cannot penalize a student because of their parenting status.
  • Parenting students cannot be restricted from participating in classes and extracurricular activities and should not be required to obtain a doctor’s note, unless the school requires this from all who have medical conditions. After medical leave, pregnant students can return to the same academic and extracurricular status.
  • Pregnant students are eligible for the same special services provided to students with temporary medical conditions, including homebound instruction, at-home tutoring, and independent study. Special programs (e.g. study abroad, sports teams, and clubs) cannot deny a student the opportunity to participate due to their parenting status.
  • Parenting students cannot be denied the ability to apply for an educational program, financial aid, or scholarships for which they would otherwise be eligible. In addition, awards and scholarships cannot be taken away due to pregnancy.
  • Schools must provide locations for expressing milk that are clean and private and are not located in a restroom.