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Can a Female Student Be Kicked out of School If She Is Pregnant?

Essay by   •  May 24, 2011  •  Case Study  •  1,169 Words (5 Pages)  •  2,294 Views

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In 2007, the fertility rate for indigenous mothers aged 15-19 was 70 babies per 1 000 whereas in 2003, an estimated 84 218 induced abortions were performed, with women aged 0-19 representing 13 855 (16.5%) of this total number (Teenage pregnancy, 2009). These statistics clearly shows that the pregnancy among female school students is a common thing in America. But educationalists have different opinions about allowing a pregnant female student to continue her education along with other students. There are lot of social, psychological, physical and ethical issues are involved in allowing pregnant female school children to continue their studies. Some people argues that there is nothing wrong in doing so whereas some others argue that a female student should be kicked out of school if she is found pregnant. This paper analyses the above arguments briefly.

Pregnancy and student life: legal frameworks

Jenelle Wilson (2003) has cited three major points about the legal protection of pregnant school children in her article Pregnancy discrimination; According to the Office of Civil Rights in the Department of Education, Title IX, discrimination based on sex is prohibited. A school cannot treat a woman worse than normal students because she is pregnant and the school must accommodate pregnancy as though it were a temporary disability. Moreover, schools are required to allow a pregnant student to take temporary leave, and when she returns, she must be reinstated to her prior status, regardless of whether the school allows temporary leave for other conditions (Wilson, 2003). Moreover, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal law that protects pregnant students from discrimination. The federal government acknowledged that pregnant teenage girls are often treated differently than the teenage fathers. Same offense committed by different genders treated differently at schools.

Pregnancy and student life: legal battles

Emmaus High School swim team coach, Michael Seip, suspected that team member, Leah Gruenke, was pregnant and asked her to take a pregnancy test. Leah and her mother, have sued Seip under 42 U.S.C.S 1983, claiming that the pregnancy test, and the actions surrounding it, was unconstitutional and violated Leah's right to privacy regarding personal matters. The District Court granted summary judgment in favor of Seip on the sec 1983 claims on the basis of qualified immunity (School pregnancy test violates student's privacy rights, n. d).

Honan (1998) has mentioned another case in which a Federal court ordered the National Honor Society to admit two Kentucky students, (Somer Chipman, 17, and Chasity Glass, 18, of Grant County High School in Williamstown, Ky), who were denied membership because they had become pregnant. The young women must now be admitted to the society for the rest of their senior year while they wait for their case to come to trial. In the ruling, a preliminary injunction, Judge William O. Bertelsman of Federal District Court in Covington, Ky., asserted that the women had "a high probability" of winning their case (Honan,1998) The case resulted in the two young ladies being inducted into the National Honor Society.

Plaintiff, a high school student, a minor by her husband and next friend, sought review of the decisions of the District Court, Fifteenth Judicial District (Colorado), which entered judgments for defendants, a school district, a superintendent, and a board of education, in actions seeking to enjoin defendants from enforcing their policy that prohibited married students from participating in any extracurricular activities. The action seeking to enjoin defendants from enforcing the board's policy prohibiting married students from participating in extracurricular activities was declared moot. The court reversed the trial court's decision that held the policy was a reasonable regulation (Court of Appeals of Colorado, Division Three, 1977)

In another case, Appellee student brought an action



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