"While there are successful efforts across the nation to lower the teen pregnancy rate, high rates of teen pregnancy and its potential consequences persist.

Overwhelmingly, youth who are parents want to be good parents and provide financially for their children. Young parents, particularly young mothers, who are students and had previously became disengaged in school, often find the responsibilities of parenthood motivate them to seek high school completion.

Step in Title IX!

When you hear “Title IX,” your mind likely goes first to sports. Indeed, today, more than 100,000 women participate in intercollegiate athletics, a four-fold increase from 1971 (pre-Title IX). What’s more…thanks in large part to the protections offered under Title IX, from 1980 to 1990, pregnant students who were pushed out of school declined by 30%. Title IX protections can make it easier for young people who are pregnant or parenting to access their right to free and appropriate public education.

What does Title IX do to protect the rights of students who are pregnant and parenting?

Title IX of the educational amendment states people who are pregnant deserve an equal education, and schools must work to accommodate young people who are pregnant, young parents, and youth who have had abortions. It’s especially important that youth who are pregnant or parenting get all the information on Title IX that they need to make decisions that make sense for them because pregnancy and parenting responsibilities may significantly increase a student’s risk of dropping out of school.

When young people get the support they need from school staff and trusted adults, it can help them reach their goals and get their needs met to be able to stay in school.

It’s our responsibility to be supportive, shame-free, and adaptive when working with students who are pregnant and parenting, as they deserve just as much care and support as their non-parenting peers.
Youth who are pregnant and parenting face many barriers to enrolling, attending, and succeeding in high school and college, such as discrimination, the challenge of juggling schoolwork with parenting, and a lack of access to health services and concrete supports for themselves and their children.

Title IX offers many protections to combat these challenges, such as rights to  
·  Excused absences for medical leave and healthcare appointments,
· Access the same special services provided to students with other temporary medical conditions (e.g., homebound instruction, at-home tutoring, independent study),
·  Reasonable adjustments necessary due to pregnancy (e.g., larger desks, frequent bathroom passes, elevator access), and
· Continue participating in (and return to the same status) in classes and extracurricular activities."