A policy that articulates Federal Title 1X anti-discrimination protections for pregnant and parenting students was unanimously voted on by the Boston School Committee.
The Expectant and Parenting Students Policy includes sensible guidelines for flexible attendance policies and other reasonable accommodations for pregnant students.
It also requires schools to designate expectant and parenting student liaisons, who will ensure students and school personnel are aware of the policy and help links students to supports such as child care, safe housing and healthcare.
Reportedly, the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy (M ATP) has found educators in Boston are frequently unfamiliar with this information. M ATP commends the School Committee for their action on this issue.
In December 2010, Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley filed a committee report and Council resolution urging the School Committee to adopt the recommendations made by M ATP and other advocates of the policy.
The revised policy will ensure these youth have the necessary and federally mandated supports to complete their all important high school education.
While it took four-years to update the 1989 policy, it now puts in place insurances that these students dreams are not permanently deferred.
Councilor Pressley’s persistence to help make this policy possible should be commended.