No, Your School Can’t Kick You Out Because You’re Pregnant

Nicola Pritchett/UVU Review

A charter school in northeast Louisiana is under investigation due to its school “pregnancy policy.” Not a new policy (the draft I saw said 2006), it basically says that pregnant students at their school have no rights whatsoever:

If an administrator or teacher suspects a student is pregnant, a parent conference will be held. The school reserves the right to require any female student to take a pregnancy test to confirm whether or not the suspected student is in fact pregnant. The school further reserves the right to refer the suspected 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.

The policy goes on to say that students SUSPECTED of being pregnant and who don’t submit to a pregnancy test will have to go elsewhere, as they will be treated as if they are pregnant, regardless of whether they are with child or not.

My first thought? How is this legal? How can you force students to take pregnancy tests and then tell them point blank that they will not be allowed to continue to take classes on campus if they are pregnant?

Well, good thing it’s NOT legal. According to Title IX, which everyone equates with equality in girls’ athletics, pregnant and parenting students can not be forced to leave their school. They must be treated like every other student would be treated in the event of a short-term disability.

Of course, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is all over the case:

“I am not aware of anything else like this,” said Marjorie Esman, executive director of the ACLU of Louisiana. “This so blatantly illegal and discriminatory. This is about as draconian as anything I have ever seen.”

In case you or someone you know is pregnant, I’ve gathered some answers for you. Pass it along:

From the National Women’s Law Center:


The school cannot make you go to any separate program for pregnant or parenting students. If you do choose to go to a separate program, the coursework and activities must be just as good as the opportunities you would have in your regular school. Title IX requires that schools provide pregnant students with any special services they provide to temporarily disabled students. If temporarily disabled students get at-home tutoring to help them keep up with work, so must students who miss school because of pregnancy or childbirth.


You are allowed to go to school and participate in activities for as long as you want. The school cannot stop you from joining in, and the school cannot ask for a doctor’s note, unless the school has the same rules for all students who have a medical condition that requires treatment by a doctor.
Your school must excuse your absences for as long as your doctor says it is necessary for you to be absent, and your school must let you make up the work you missed while you were out.

Read the full guide, “It’s Your Education: How Title IX Protections Can Help You” for more information and remember that you have a RIGHT to your education, no matter what. 


  1. This is so messed up. It’s a good thing this is not legal at all!

  2. I find this just INSANE> I became pregnant shortly after turning 15, then had my child very very early therefore was still 15 when he was born, however the school working with me, without changing rules, is how I managed to graduate early and then earn 3 degrees by 21! I find it sickening that there’s anything like this allowed. I under no circumstances think pregnancy should be condoned as acceptable when your a teen, however they are still a human and once what’s done is done, there should be an effort to minimally treat them as any other student (which is what I believe in equal treatment, not too big on special treatment as it can be seen as bending the normal rules as well) if not add further assistance and guidance to the struggling teen. I too was in fear when announcing to the school of my pregnancy being the first person to get pregnant in over 15 years and did alot of research as to my “rights”. Education is always the best thing to have when approaching unfamiliar territory. Rather ticks me off though that people can get away with treating others as outcasts because of a decision they made. — okay off my soap box now. lacey