By Dr. Marciene Mattleman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Amelia Erickson became pregnant at 14 but was determined to get a diploma. Returning to school with a baby to nurse, the school refused. While access for schooling for pregnant teens has improved, latest data show that only half of teens who give birth graduate by 22.
As recently as 2011, Michigan and Georgia banned pregnant students from getting the same at-home services as students with other medical conditions.
Forty years ago, title IX was passed to ensure equal opportunities for all students. It’s mostly associated with female athletics; but the law was intended to be much broader, strengthening legal rights of pregnant teens and victims of sexual harassment.
Nirvi Shah in Education Week, June 13th, reports that US Representative Jared Polis has introduced the Pregnant and Parenting Students Access to Education Act requiring school districts to report data and provide academic support as needed and the federal Office of Civil Rights will be issuing guidance on pregnant girls’ rights this year.