Dealing with an unplanned pregnancy as a student comes with its share of complications and stress. These complications can be further amplified if you attend a private school. There are certain pregnancy rules at private schools that differ from public schools. In certain extreme cases, your private school might not allow you to attend class or school events. However, it is important to keep in mind that the following example is an extreme one. You should not assume that your private school will react the same way.
A student from a small Christian school in Maryland was banned from walking at graduation after she became pregnant. Even after public pressure, Heritage Academy in Hagerstown stood firm in its stance to ban the student. The school claimed that the student broke the rules by engaging in intimate sexual activity.
Initially, the student was going to be suspended from class for breaking the school’s rules, but the decision changed. Although she was not allowed to walk at graduation, she was still allowed to attend classes and earn her diploma.
While, something like this can happen in certain private schools, it is rare for a school to ban pregnant students from attending school events. The more likely outcome is that the school and student will agree that she finish her studies from home. The reason that certain private schools can make extreme choices in rare cases is that they are not obligated to follow Title IX.
Title IX is a Federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex – including pregnancy and parental status – education programs and activities. Since going into effect in 1972, Title IX has protected you if you attend a public school or any private school that accepts Federal financial assistance.
Under Title IX, schools must allow you to continue participating in classes and extracurricular activities after you become pregnant. You are also allowed to miss time due to your pregnancy and then return to your academic programs and make up missed work. All you have to do is request these accommodations and the school will make adjustments to suit your needs.
Title IX applies only to private schools that accept Federal funds, which is the case for many private schools. However, some schools do not accept any Federal funds and are therefore NOT required to abide by Title IX. This means that you are not guaranteed Title IX protections if you attend a private school that accepts no Federal funds.
With that said, even if your school does not accept Federal funds, the administrators might still be willing to accommodate you. Do not assume that you will be kicked out of school just because you are pregnant, even in a Christian school. Your fear of getting expelled should not lead you to conclude that abortion is your only option. You should still take time to weigh your options carefully and make the decision that you live with in the long run.
Despite how strict you might believe your school to be, the people there still care about you and might be willing to help. They can offer you accommodations and help you stay on track to graduate. Most importantly, keep in mind that considering the consequences of abortion should be your primary concern. That decision is more important than completing school on your current timeline.
If you are dealing with an unplanned pregnancy while attending a private school, it is important to learn the facts and discuss your options. Contact Palm Beach Women’s Clinic today. We’re here to help you in any way we can.