Q: I just found out I’m pregnant, which is a scary thought by itself. To make matters worse, I go to a Catholic school where they have a policy that you’re not allowed to go to class once you start showing. I’m pretty sure it’s only a rule because pregnant students aren’t exactly good for a Catholic school’s reputation. I think it’s totally unfair, cruel and embarrassing that they’re basically kicking me out. Do they have a right to do this? And what are my options if I want to continue my education while I’m pregnant?
A: Thanks to something called Title IX (LINK), public schools can’t kick students out for being pregnant. However, as long as they don’t receive government money, private schools generally can. That being said, a private school can be sued for discrimination for dong so.
Of course, taking legal action is no picnic. It can be expensive, complicated and very hard to do without a parent’s support. So before you think about involving the courts, you might want to consider approaching you school’s administration with a parent or other supportive adult to discuss your options.
If, in the end, you are forced to leave your school, that doesn’t mean you will be forced to drop out completely. One option is to enroll in your local public school. Public schools are legally required to accept local students even if they are pregnant. You can also talk to your current school about being home schooled or having your work sent home with you. Of course, this might make you feel really isolated and alone, which is the last thing you want when you are pregnant!
As you have already discovered, being a pregnant teen can be tough, but know you aren’t alone. A lot of other girls have been in your situation and come out on top! Finding someone who can be your advocate and can explain your rights and options is a really important thing to do, and one of the best ways to make sure you are able to stay in school. Support is out there, you just need to know where to find it! (LINK TO SHOUT OUT TO PREGNANT MOMS ARTICLE)