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Pregnancy Support for Students

Pregnant or parenting students who have given birth within six months are encouraged to contact North Idaho College Disability Support services for accommodation assistance.

Pregnant or parenting students who have given birth within six months are encouraged to contact North Idaho College Disability Support services for accommodation assistance.

Under Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, schools cannot exclude a pregnant student from participating in any part of an educational program. Additionally, a school must excuse a student's absences because of pregnancy or childbirth for as long as the student's doctor deems the absences medically necessary. When a student returns to school, she must be allowed to return to the same academic and extracurricular status as before her medical leave began.

As with any other request for accommodation, students must complete an application for services and may be required to submit appropriate medical and/or other types of supporting documentation. Once the application process is completed, the student will work with an access specialist to determine appropriate accommodations and supports. 


North Idaho College Pregnancy Guidelines for Students


(Source, Supporting the Academic Success of Pregnant and Parenting Students Under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, US Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, June 2013)

Title IX provides that no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

Title IX specifically prohibits discrimination against a student based on pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy or recovery from any of these conditions. Title IX also prohibits a school from applying any rule related to a student’s parental, family, or marital status that treats students differently based on their sex.

Under Title IX, it is illegal for schools to exclude a pregnant student from participating in any part of an educational program. This prohibition applies to specific classes such as advance placement or honors classes, extracurricular programs, interscholastic sports, honor societies, and opportunities for student leadership, among other activities.

Though schools may implement special instructional programs or classes for a pregnant student, participation must be completely voluntary on the part of the student, and the programs and classes must be comparable to those offered to other students.

In addition, a school must excuse a student’s absences because of pregnancy or childbirth for as long as the student’s doctor deems the absences medically necessary. When a student returns to school, she must be allowed to return to the same academic and extracurricular status as before her medical leave began.

North Idaho College Accommodations for Pregnant Students or Parenting Students

North Idaho College will fully comply with all Title IX requirements as established by the US Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, and in accordance with the ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ as follows: 

Frequently Asked Questions

No. Any such requirement would violate Title IX. A school may offer separate programs or schools for a pregnant student, but participation in those programs or schools must be  voluntary. A school may provide information to its students about the availability of an alternative program, but it may not pressure a pregnant student to attend that program. A pregnant student must be allowed to remain in her regular classes and school if she so chooses.

If a school offers a voluntary alternative program, that program must provide academic, extracurricular and enrichment opportunities comparable to those provided to the students in the regular school program. Although an alternative program need not be identical to the regular school program in the specific courses or range of courses, if it provides only vocational-track courses, with no opportunity for advanced academic or college-preparatory classes, it would not be considered comparable.  It is critical to provide clear information about what courses are available, how credits are transferred between the regular program and alternative program and how the student can meet graduation requirements. This helps ensure that any separate programs offered to a pregnant student are both voluntary and comparable to the regular program.

Schools cannot require a pregnant student to produce a doctor’s note in order to stay in school or participate in activities, including interscholastic sports, unless the same requirement to obtain a doctor’s note applies to all students being treated by a doctor.

Schools cannot treat a pregnant student differently from other students being cared for by a doctor, even when a student is in the later stages of pregnancy; schools should not presume that a pregnant student is unable to attend school or participate in school activities.

Yes. Title IX prohibits harassment of students based on sex, including harassment because of pregnancy or related conditions. Harassing conduct can take many forms, including verbal acts and name-calling, graphic and written statements, and other conduct that may be humiliating or physically threatening or harmful. 

Particular actions that could constitute prohibited harassment include making sexual comments or jokes about a student’s pregnancy, calling a pregnant student sexually charged names, spreading rumors about her sexual activity, and making sexual propositions or gestures.

Schools must take prompt and effective steps reasonably calculated to end pregnancy-related harassment, prevent its recurrence, and eliminate any hostile environment created by the harassment. 

The school violates Title IX if sexual harassment or other pregnancy-related harassment by employees, students, or third parties is sufficiently serious that it interferes with a student’s ability to benefit from or participate in the school’s program and the harassment is encouraged, tolerated, not adequately addressed, or ignored by school employees.

To ensure a pregnant student’s access to its educational program, a school must make adjustments to the regular program that are reasonable and responsive to the student’s temporary pregnancy status. For example, a school might be required to provide a larger desk, allow frequent trips to the bathroom or permit temporary access to elevators.

Yes. Title IX prohibits a school from excluding a pregnant student from any part of its educational program, including all extracurricular activities, such as school clubs, academic societies, honors programs, homecoming court, or interscholastic sports.

A pregnant student must also be eligible to hold leadership positions in these activities. In addition, a pregnant student may not be excluded from an activity that is part of the school’s educational program even if the activity is not operated directly by the school. For example, an after-school program run by a local nonprofit agency that rents the school’s facilities at a reduced rate and is advertised and promoted by the school may not exclude a pregnant student from enrolling.

Yes. Title IX requires a school to excuse a student’s absences due to pregnancy or related conditions, including recovery from childbirth, for as long as the student’s doctor deems the absences to be medically necessary.

When the student returns to school, she must be reinstated to the status she held when the leave began, which should include giving her the opportunity to make up any work missed. A school may offer the student alternatives to making up missed work, such as retaking a semester, taking part in an online course credit recovery program or allowing the student additional time in a program to continue at the same pace and finish at a later date. The student should be allowed to choose how to make up the work.

If the school requires students with other medical conditions to submit a doctor’s note, it may require the same from a pregnant student.

Title IX requires a school to provide the same special services to a pregnant student that it provides to students with temporary medical conditions.

For example, if a school provides at-home instruction or tutoring to students who miss school because of temporary medical conditions, it must do the same for a student who misses school because of pregnancy or childbirth.

Every school that receives federal financial assistance is bound by Title IX. Schools must ensure that the policies and practices of individual teachers do not discriminate against pregnant students. For example, a teacher may not refuse to allow a student to submit work after a deadline that she missed because of absences due to pregnancy or childbirth.

Additionally, if a teacher’s grading is based in part on class attendance or participation, the student should be allowed to earn the credits she missed so that she can be reinstated to the status she had before the leave. Schools should ensure that their teachers and staff are aware of and follow Title IX requirements.

School districts must adopt and publish grievance procedures for students to file complaints of sex discrimination, including discrimination related to pregnancy or parental status. The grievance process should provide a mechanism for school districts to investigate and evaluate complaints and must provide for prompt and equitable resolution of complaints.

School districts should make sure that their grievance procedures are widely distributed and understandable by students, parents and employees. A school district must also designate at least one employee to coordinate its efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under the law. The coordinator’s responsibilities include overseeing all Title IX complaints, including those alleging discrimination against pregnant and parenting students, and identifying and addressing any patterns or systemic problems that arise during the review of such complaints.

The Title IX coordinator must have adequate training in Title IX requirements and must be able to explain the operation of the district’s grievance procedures. A school district must notify all students and employees of the name, office address, and telephone number of its Title IX coordinator(s).

In addition, a school must publish a notice that it does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its educational programs or activities. The notice must also state that inquiries concerning the application of Title IX and its implementing regulations may be referred to the Title IX coordinator or to OCR. The notice must be displayed prominently in each announcement, bulletin, catalog or application form used in connection with the recruitment of students or employees.

Title IX does not require a school district to adopt a policy specifically prohibiting discrimination against pregnant or parenting students, but OCR recommends that a school district’s nondiscrimination policy makes clear that prohibited sex discrimination covers discrimination against pregnant and parenting students.