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School Network

ICAH’s School Network is organizing allied youth and professionals around supporting the success of pregnant and parenting students, specifically related to Title IX recommendations recently released by the US Department of Education.

About the School Network

The Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health is a network of empowered youth and allied adults who transform public consciousness and increase the capacity of Healthcare, Family, and School systems to support the sexual health, identities, and rights of youth.

 

We are focusing our attention on these critical systems on the premise that young people will interact with them in some capacity during their lives and all impact health in a profound way.  Through intentional base-building, members of these three networks are an integral part of our three-year organizing strategy to increase the capacity of adults to effectively partner with young people in order to improve programs, policies, and procedures that directly impact their lives.

 

In this model and in partnership with ICAH’s Youth Leadership Council we gather professionals in each network to discuss common trends, utilize relevant research to inform their work, and create change in these systems by engaging in concrete actions that advance our work.  By investing in strong youth-adult partnerships, we hope to make our vision of a world in which all young adults in Illinois use their power to achieve health and well being in their own lives and for their communities, a reality.

 

After discussion about trends in the field, ICAH’s School Network is organizing allied youth and professionals around supporting the success of pregnant and parenting students, specifically related to recommendations recently released by the US Department of Education.  Network members are involved in engaging stakeholders from across the state in discussions around this issue area in order to raise awareness about the ways we can better support the aforementioned students.

School Network Members

  • Arlether C. Paraharm, Program Manager, Sinai Institute-Illinois Subsequent Pregnancy Program
  • Danette T. Sokacich, Assistant Principal, Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High Schoo
  • Jim Bloyd, MPH, Regional Health Officer, Cook County Department of Public Health
  • Arlether Paraharm, Illinois Subsequent Pregnancy Project
  • Havilah Darnieder, Director of Operations, Federation for Community Schools
  • Lawrence Carter, Gay Straight Alliance Coordinator, Illinois Safe Schools Alliance
  • Rechel Anyaeche, True to Life Foundation
  • Stacy Fox, Teacher

Title IX School Rights

We believe all youth deserve to be safe, affirmed, and healthy as they obtain their education.  Our vision is a world in which all young adults in Illinois use their power to achieve health and well being in their own lives and for their communities.  The US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently released recommendations for school districts to better support pregnant and parenting students under Title IX, and we are committed to ensuring students, teachers, administrators, and all others are aware of the law and its principles.  Our School Network, comprised of youth and adult allies committed to supporting the sexual health, rights, and identities of youth, are writing to urge you to support the rights of pregnant and parenting students’ access to education.

ICAH Title IX in Schools Poster

If you have questions or would like to receive a large scale poster to display, please contact Tiffany Pryor at tiffany@icah.org.

Title IX provides that:

 

  • No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance
  • A school district must publish a notice that it does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its educational programs or activities
  • A school district must designate at least one employee to coordinate its efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under the law

Regarding pregnant and parenting students, Title IX prohibits:

 

  • Discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery from any of these conditions
  • A school from applying any rule related to a students’ parental, family, or marital status that treats students differently based on their sex
  • Schools from excluding a pregnant student from participating in any part of an educational program

In addition:

 

  • A school may offer separate programs or schools for a pregnant student, but participation in those programs or schools must be completely voluntary.  If a school offers a voluntary program, that program must provide academic, extracurricular, and enrichment opportunities comparable to those provided to the students in the regular school program
  • A school must provide the same special services to a pregnant student that it provides to the students with temporary medical conditions
  • Schools cannot require a pregnant student to produce a doctor’s note in order to stay in school to participate in activities unless the same requirement to obtain a doctor’s note applies to all students being treated by a doctor
  • A school must excuse a student’s absences due to pregnancy or related conditions, including recovery from childbirth, for as long as the student’s doctor deems the absences to be medically necessary
  • Schools must ensure that the policies and practices of individual teachers do not discriminate against pregnant students 

 Resources for Adults and Youth:

 

News & Updates

Take Pregnant and Parenting Youth Survey by May 31, 2012

ICAH fellow TeeNeka Jones, who is also an Illinois Early Childhood Fellow working at Health and Disability Advocates, is engaged with a Participatory Research project to survey young parents’ experiences in accessing public benefit programs. She ha...

Have you considered joining one of ICAH’s Regional Networks?

The Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health is a network of empowered youth and allied adults who transform public consciousness and increase the capacity of healthcare, family, and school systems to support the sexual health, identities, and rights of...