Title IX and Pregnancy
What does Title IX say about pregnant students on campus?
Title IX is a Federal civil rights law that bans discrimination on the basis of sex, to include pregnancy, in educational programs and activities. As a result, faculty and staff must work with pregnant students to create a plan that will best allow the student to continue her studies in the event she is unable to attend class or complete assignments on time. Although faculty are not required to fundamentally alter the nature or content of the course, they should collaborate with the student to devise creative solutions in accommodating the limitations a pregnant student may be facing. It is vital that students disclose their needs as a result of their pregnancy to faculty and staff as early as possible.
What type of academic adjustments should I expect?
All academic or activity adjustments should be discussed with the appropriate faculty or staff member first. Other staff, such as the student’s advisor, may also assist as necessary. Here are a few examples of acceptable adjustments:
- Excused absences from class due to pregnancy or childbirth. To the extent possible, students should provide prior notice of absence due to pregnancy or childbirth.
- Providing the opportunity to make up any work missed while the student was out. Students are expected to discuss these adjustments prior to assignment deadlines.
- Ensuring that readings, assignments and other course material are posted on Moodle so that work can be completed remotely to the extent possible.
- Using conference capability in the classroom so that students can hear lectures remotely from a computer or phone.
Students are always expected to honor the Trinity Honor Code. All students, regardless of accommodations, are expected to maintain the highest levels of academic integrity.
Students may not refuse to submit assignments and should work with faculty members to submit assignments based on the adjustments provided.
When should I disclose a pregnancy?
In order to receive the best support possible, students should disclose needs based on pregnancy to faculty or staff members as soon as possible. Upon disclosing this information, the faculty or staff member will work out appropriate adjustments. In many cases, the student may be asked for appropriate documentation in order to put a suitable accommodation in place. Students also have the choice of reaching out to Trinity’s Title IX Coordinator, Sarah Phelps, directly at PhelpsS@trinitydc.edu, or 202-884-9049 if further assistance is needed or if concerns arise.