Your Education Rights

Adapted from SHIFT NC.

The Basics

The law is on your side! It’s covered under Title IX, the same law that says girls can play sports.

If you’re pregnant or parenting, your school must allow you to:

  • Go to school
  • Participate in extracurricular activities
  • Access the same quality of classes as anyone else

Your school system can’t make you go to an alternative school if you don’t want to.

For more detailed information on any of these topics, visit our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Teen Parents.

Medical Leave from School

Your school is required to treat the school you miss for childbirth and recovery as an excused absence. Your school will need to work with you to help you make up any missed work.

Schools are also required to treat the time you need to take to care for a sick child as an excused absence.

For any medical leave, the school can require a doctor’s note. If your school denies your leave, you can appeal it.

Who to Contact If You Need Help

Your school guidance counselor may be the easiest person to talk to since you can see him or her during the school day. In addition, every school system has a staff person who is designated as the Title IX (nine) coordinator.

If you need additional resources, the National Women’s Law Center has a special page of resources For Pregnant and Parenting Students.

SHIFT NC (Sexual Health Initiatives For Teens) is a statewide nonprofit leading North Carolina to improve adolescent and young adult sexual health. By increasing awareness, disseminating data, improving policy, supplying professional development, and providing leadership, they are empowering North Carolina’s professionals to support healthy development.

Their approach uses successful, evidence-based methods to make a positive change for teen pregnancy prevention, HIV and STIs, healthy development, sexuality, and relationships.