Sunday, July 15, 2007

Pregnancy Discrimination Addressed in the Journal of Law & Education

The Journal of Law and Education's "Chalk Talk" feature in its current issue addresses Title IX's prohibition on discrimination against pregnant students. Author Brittany Ducker writes in "Overcoming the Hurdles: Title IX and Equal Education Attainment for Pregnant and Parenting Students" (citation: 36 J. L. & Educ. 445 (2007)) writes that while pregnant students are no longer outright expelled, they still face discrimination and intolerance that may be actionable under Title IX. In some cases, pregnant or parenting students are excluded from extracurricular programs -- an issue we've blogged about before in the context of athletics. Another form of discrimination Ducker addresses may occur when schools steer pregnant or parenting students into stand-alone alternative schools (by locating the day care services there) which can sometimes offer a less challenging academic curriculum. The author also addresses discriminatory attendance policies that treat absences due to pregnancy differently from other absences due to other medical conditions. Ducker argues that schools seeking to avoid Title IX liability should carefully avoid all of these practices.

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