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Supporting Pregnant and Parenting Schools in Middle Schools and High Schools: Flexible School Attendance Laws

June 23, 2023

"SUPPORTING PREGNANT AND PARENTING STUDENTS IN MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOLS" is a series of small reports analyzing state legal protections for pregnant and parenting students across 50 states and the District of Columbia. Young parents deserve the opportunity to complete their education free from bias and harassment, and in environments that are supportive of their circumstances. Yet too often, young parents are overlooked, face stigma, and are required to navigate education systems that were not designed to address their unique needs. Moreover, as young people across the country lose rights and access to the full range of reproductive health care, fewer young people will be able to control their reproductive futures. While protections that ensure that every pregnant and parenting student has the necessary support to complete their education are long overdue – they are particularly urgent now given the deteriorating reproductive health care landscape."Supporting Pregnant and Parenting Students in Middle Schools and High Schools: Flexible School Attendance Laws" reviews state laws and policies that allow excused absences particularly for pregnant and parenting students in K-12 schools. Attendance policies that do not consider the needs of pregnant students and student parents make it difficult for them to complete their program. This report addresses flexible attendance policies that can support pregnant and parenting students to ensure that they are able to stay in school.

Supporting Pregnant and Parenting Students in Middle Schools and High Schools: Lactation Accommodations

June 23, 2023

"SUPPORTING PREGNANT AND PARENTING STUDENTS IN MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOLS" is a series of small reports analyzing state legal protections for pregnant and parenting students across 50 states and the District of Columbia. Young parents deserve the opportunity to complete their education free from bias and harassment, and in environments that are supportive of their circumstances. Yet too often, young parents are overlooked, face stigma, and are required to navigate education systems that were not designed to address their unique needs. Moreover, as young people across the country lose rights and access to the full range of reproductive health care, fewer young people will be able to control their reproductive futures. While protections that ensure that every pregnant and parenting student has the necessary support to complete their education are long overdue – they are particularly urgent now given the deteriorating reproductive health care landscape.According to the most recent data available, only 51% of teenage mothers complete their high school diploma by age 22. All students deserve the opportunity to attain their high school diploma, which contributes to increased future earnings. It is especially important for young parents who have children that they are responsible for. School policies that were created without consideration for the needs of pregnant and parenting students make it difficult to keep them in school. To increase graduation rates for young parents, it is important to change the policies that become barriers to education for them. This report series investigates a few essential accommodations that will support pregnant and parenting students in completing their education."Supporting Pregnant and Parenting Students in Middle Schools and High Schools" is a review of state laws and policies that guarantee the right to lactation accommodations for pregnant and parenting students in secondary schools. Inadequate lactation accommodations can present particular challenges for a new parent navigating an education system that does not consider their needs. This report addresses the supports that policymakers can implement to ensure that lactating students can stay in school.