Married/Pregnant/Parenting Students

The Rights of Pregnant and Parenting Students

  1. As a pregnant student or teen parent you have the same right as any student to continue your education, and the same responsibility to attend school. 
  2. You have the right to stay at your current school. You cannot be excluded from any school or program for which you qualify. This includes magnet, gifted, special education or any other schools or programs. You also have the right to participate in all school activities that may include: field trips, student council and clubs, afterschool activities, graduation, awards and ceremonies, and all school related programs. You also have the right to participate in physical education and school sports; however, you can arrange to modify or limit your participation if your licensed healthcare provider advises it. 
  3. You have the right to be treated with respect and protected from discrimination and harassment. All school staff have the responsibility to protect your rights and to assure that both staff and students treat you with respect. School staff members are not allowed to discriminate against you (treat you unfairly) because you are pregnant or are a parent, whether or not you are married. School staff must also take action to protect you against discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying by other students. 
  4. You have a right to have your confidentiality respected. Your health and personal information should be kept confidential, just like that of other students. Information about your pregnancy should not appear in your cumulative or other school records. It cannot be used against you when you apply or are considered for awards, scholarships, or educational and job opportunities. Personal information you share with a nurse, social worker, psychologist or licensed counselor is confidential and should not be shared with other people without your permission. An exception is made to this rule of confidentiality when there is concern that you or your child has been abused or is in danger. In this situation, school staff are mandated reporters who must file a suspected child abuse report or follow other school district policies as necessary. 
  5. You have a right to request that your school make reasonable accommodations to make sure you can participate in all school programs and activities. These accommodations might include, but are not limited to: 
  • Passes for bathroom use as needed  
  • Additional time for class changes, nutrition, and lunch  
  • School-based independent study when you are absent due to health related issues or alternative comparable educational options if you choose not to return to your previous school of enrollment  Class changes to minimize absences due to childbirth and recovery  
  • Class changes to permit use of school-based childcare  
  • Scheduling classes in more accessible locations  
  • A larger desk or work space  
  • Elevator access when needed and possible  
  • Modified activities in physical education (PE) programs when requested by you and your medical provider  
  • A reasonable amount of time to accommodate the need to express breast milk or breast-feed an infant  
  • Access to a private and secure room to express breast milk or breast-feed an infant child  Permission to bring onto a school campus a breast pump and any other equipment used to express breast milk  
  • Access to a power source for a breast pump or any other equipment used to express breast milk  Access to a place to safely store expressed breast milk  
  • Eight weeks or more of parental leave as excused absences; the leave may be taken before the birth if there is medical necessity and after childbirth during the school year in which the birth takes place in order to protect your health and to allow you to bond with your infant 
  • An opportunity to make up missed work or satisfactorily complete equivalent work as determined by the teacher of the class, within a reasonable time period, due to accommodations or after your return from parental leave  
  • A fifth year of instruction at your high school of last enrollment when necessary to complete graduation requirements, unless it is determined that you can reasonably complete the requirements by the end of your fourth year of high school. 
  1. Enrollment at Hilltop Services Center, or any other program specially designed for pregnant or parenting students, must be completely voluntary on your part. You can get further information about these schools by talking to your school counselor or nurse or by calling Hilltop Services Center at 415-695-5606. If you make the decision to transfer to one of these specialized schools, ask your school counselor to make sure that your grades or credits are not lost in the process. Also ask your counselor to make sure that the new school has the classes that you need or can make an arrangement for you to get them. You have the right to return to your previous school. Make sure you are informed about when and how you can return. This is especially important if you are close to graduation. 
  2. You have a right to excused absences for illness or medical appointments for yourself or your child. Excused absences also include absences due to childbirth and recovery, miscarriage, or pregnancy termination. You may be asked to provide a note from your licensed healthcare provider if other students with absences are also required to do so. Keep a copy of all notes and documents in case you need them again. As a pregnant student, you also have a right to an extended absence when you have your baby or for a pregnancy-related illness. The length of this absence is decided by your licensed healthcare provider based on your health needs. At the end of the absence, you must be allowed to return to school with the same status you had when you began the absence.
  3. You must be allowed to make up work missed during an excused absence. After an extended absence, you must be allowed a reasonable amount of time to make up assignments, missed exams or other work or be provided with a reasonable equivalent of work. Once the work is satisfactorily completed, you must be given credit. It is best to plan ahead, whenever possible, for absences and making up missed work. Make arrangements with school staff as soon as possible and keep copies of all of your papers. 
  4. Get the information and support you need to stay in school and graduate. Your school counselor, nurse, and other school staff can provide information and support to help you continue your education. They have information about access to medical care, mental health services, and other social services, including programs that provide case management and support services designed to assist pregnant and parenting teens. 
  5. You have a right to get help if you feel you have been treated unfairly due to your pregnancy or parenting status. First, take your concern to an administrator at your school, or another school district leader. If this does not solve the problem, you can speak with or submit your complaint in writing to the Office of Equity & Employee Relations at 415-355-7334. Your complaint should be handled in a timely manner and your rights and confidentiality should be respected. No one should threaten or harass you because you make a complaint. 

This page was last updated on April 11, 2024