Education
pole vaulter. Photo: Getty Images pole vaulter. Photo: Getty Images  

High schools can never prevent pregnant students from playing sports under Title IX

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has submitted a pamphlet to school districts around the nation explaining the rights guaranteed to pregnant high school students (as well as high school students with young children) under Title IX, a portion of 1972 law that prohibits educational institutions from discriminating against females.

Among the throng of guaranteed rights is the right to participate at any time in all extracurricular activities including interscholastic sports. The Department of Education’s Title IX regulations explicitly forbid “discrimination against a student based on pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery from any of these conditions.”

Thus, the Department of Education is mandating that pregnant high school girls must be allowed on the girls diving team and hockey teams. The same goes for shot-putting, pole vaulting and waddling around the track.

“Schools cannot require a pregnant student to produce a doctor’s note in order to stay in school or participate in activities, including interscholastic sports, unless the same requirement to obtain a doctor’s note applies to all students being treated by a doctor,” department bureaucrats advise in the pamphlet.

The rule against seeking doctor’s notes from pregnant students plainly applies even in the latest stages of pregnancy.

“Schools may implement special instructional programs or classes for a pregnant student,” the pamphlet adds, “but participation must be completely voluntary on the part of the student, and the programs and classes must be comparable to those offered to other students.”

The pamphlet, smartly called “Supporting the Academic Success of Pregnant and Parenting Students Under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972,” contains 34 pages and no fewer than 38 endnotes. Its rules and regulations also apply to college students who become pregnant.

“Although this pamphlet focuses on secondary schools, the underlying legal principles apply to all recipients of federal financial assistance, including postsecondary institutions,” it reads.

A “Dear Colleague” letter dated June 25, 2013 from Seth Galanter, an acting assistant secretary for civil rights, explains that it is forcing schools to allow extremely pregnant students to participate in extracurricular activities including every sport because too few Americans are prepared for college.

“[W]e must support pregnant and parenting students so that they can stay in school and complete their education, and thereby build better lives for themselves and their children,” Galanter insists.