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Pregnant and Parenting Students

Louisiana Community College does not discriminate against pregnant and parenting students based on pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery from any of these conditions in accordance with Title IX regulations. The Title IX regulation also prohibits the College from applying any rule related to a student’s parental, family, or marital status that treats students differently based on their sex. In addition, Title IX prohibits the exclusion of a pregnant student from participating in any part of an educational program, including extracurricular activities, opportunities for student leadership, honor societies, and other activities.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Does Title IX Apply to Pregnant or Parenting Students?
Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery from any of these conditions in educational programs and activities that receive federal funding. This means that schools must give all students who might be, are, or have been pregnant the same access to school programs and educational opportunities that other students have. Your professors or administrators should not tell you that you have to drop out of your classes or program or change your educational plans due to your pregnancy.

Does my school have to excuse my absences due to pregnancy, childbirth or abortion?
Your school must excuse your absences due to pregnancy or any related conditions for as long as your doctor says it is necessary for you to be absent. This is true even if there is no leave policy for students with other conditions. When you return to school, you must be reinstated to the status you held before your leave. The school can require you to submit a doctor's note from you only if that is required of students with other medical conditions.

My professor adjusts grades based on class attendance. Can she/he lower my grade because of the classes I miss?
You cannot be penalized for pregnancy or related conditions. If a professor provides specific “points” or other advantages to students based on class attendance, you must be given the opportunity to earn the credit from classes you missed due to pregnancy, so that you can be reinstated to the status you held before you took leave.

Does my school have to provide special academic services to me, like tutoring?
Title IX requires that any special services provided to students with temporary medical conditions must also be provided to a pregnant student. Therefore, if students with temporary medical conditions are offered homebound instruction or tutoring, the school must provide students who miss class due to pregnancy or childbirth with the same benefit.

Does my school have to let me make up the work I missed while I was absent?
Yes, your school must allow you to make up the work you missed while you were out due to pregnancy or any related conditions, including recovery from childbirth. For example, if you have a doctor's note that excuses you from class for several weeks because you were on “bed rest” before giving birth, your school has to provide you with the appropriate assignments and information to make up all of the assignments you were required to complete. For an extended absence, it is best if your school provides you with the work you miss regularly, so you do not fall far behind.

But what if my school says that absence/make-up work policies are up to each individual professor?
The school administration and professors are bound by federal civil rights laws. Title IX requires that schools ensure that all faculty and staff comply with the law and not discriminate against pregnant and parenting students. An individual professor’s classroom policy must comply with Title IX regulations.

What about internships, career rotations, and other off-campus elements of my program - do I have a right to participate in those?
Yes. Your school must allow you to continue participating in off-campus programs. For example, if your program provides opportunities to “work in the field” your school cannot deny you participation based on your pregnancy. The school cannot require a doctor's note for continued participation, unless the school requires one for all students who have a medical condition that requires treatment by a doctor. If they do ask for a note, they cannot question your doctor's decision.

Classmates and even professors have made offensive comments to me about my pregnancy. Should I complain to the school about it?
Title IX requires schools to prevent and address sex-based harassment, including harassment based on pregnancy. If you experience this sort of treatment at school, you should seek help immediately. The law prohibits the school from retaliating against you for making a complaint or raising a concern.

I have a scholarship – can my school take it back when they find out I am pregnant?
No, schools cannot terminate or reduce athletic, merit or need-based scholarships based on pregnancy. However, you are still required to meet the minimum requirements for maintaining the award.

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