Pregnancy and Related Conditions

Wayland Baptist University is committed to creating an accessible and inclusive environment for pregnant and parenting students.

 

Title IX prohibits discrimination based on sex, including pregnancy and sex-based harassment, in employment, educational programs, and activities. This includes harassment and discrimination against a student based on pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or lactation, as well as any related medical conditions or recovery therefrom.

 

Wayland Baptist University will provide reasonable accommodations due to pregnancy and/or related conditions. The University will allow access, on a voluntary basis, to any separate and comparable portion of a program or activity. Wayland Baptist University will also allow a voluntary leave of absence, ensure the availability of lactation space, and maintain grievance procedures to provide for the prompt and equitable resolution of complaints of sex discrimination.

 

Title IX mandates that schools (1) offer supportive measures to students who are pregnant or have related conditions and (2) allow students who are pregnant to return to their same academic and extracurricular status as before their pregnancy.

 

Request an Accommodation

For information regarding pregnancy or related conditions leave or to request an accommodation related to pregnancy, please contact Dr. Justin Lawrence at: lawrencej@wbu.edu.

 

Resources

Various resources such as The Pregnant Scholar and the U.S. Department of Education provide general information to support the academic success of pregnant and parenting students. Specifically, at Wayland Baptist University, the Student Advocates at each campus also serve as Parenting Student Liaisons to act as a liaison officer for current or incoming students at the college who are the parent or guardian of a child younger than 18 years of age. The liaison officers provide information to students regarding support services and other resources available to the students at Wayland Baptist University.

 
Parenting Student Liaison:

Dr. Justin Lawrence

Title IX Administrator

Title IX Office

806.291.1173

lawrencej@wbu.edu

 

Accommodations

Pregnant and parenting students have access to a variety of educational adjustments, accommodations, and protections to ensure their ability to fully participate in the education environment.

Wayland Baptist University works with each student to provide educational adjustments or accommodations that best meet their needs. The following are examples of some of those supports:

 

  • Breaks during class, as needed
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  • Excused absences or a leave of absence
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  • Make up missed assignments or assessments
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  • Additional time to complete assignments in the same manner as the institution allows for a student with a temporary medical condition
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  • Access to instructional materials and video recordings of lectures for classes for which the student has an excused absence under this section to the same extent that instructional materials and video recordings of lectures are made available to any other student with an excused absence
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  • Specialized industry wear to accommodate a growing body
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  • Access to lactation rooms on campus
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  • Additional supports due to a disability such as a notetaker for carpal tunnel, an alternate chair, or permitting the use of a heated pad for lumbar lordosis (back pain)

To request an accommodation for a temporary disability due to pregnancy, contact Dr. Justin Lawrence at: lawrencej@wbu.edu

 

Protections

Title IX prohibits discrimination against a student based on pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery from any of these conditions. Institutions must treat these conditions the same as any other temporary disability with respect to any hospital or medical benefit, service, plan, or policy for students. Title IX also prohibits a school, college, or university from applying any rule related to a student’s parental, family, or marital status that treats students differently based on their gender. When a student returns to school, they must be allowed to return to the same academic and extracurricular status as before their medical leave began.

Additionally, Texas has specific legislation extending additional protections for pregnant and parenting students.

Under Texas Ed. Code. § 51.982 (SB 412), pregnant and parenting students of children under 18 cannot be forced out of school, limit their studies, attend an alternative program, change their major, degree, or certificate program, or be forced into or out of a particular course, activity or program based solely on their parenting status or “issues related to the student’s pregnancy or parenting.” SB 412 states pregnant and parenting students can take a leave of absence and provides further guidance for institutions to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions.

Texas Ed. Code. § 51.982 (HB 1361) requires institutions of higher education to have at least one liaison officer for students who are parents or guardians of children younger than 18 years.

Texas Ed. Code. § 51.982 (SB 459) extends early registration for parenting students if the institution of higher education provides early registration for any group of students in the same manner.

To report discrimination or harassment based on pregnancy or parenting status, contact:

Dr. Justin Lawrence

Title IX Administrator

lawrencej@wbu.edu

806.291.1173

 

Frequently Asked Questions

When would I need to request an accommodation or academic adjustment?

The Parent Liaison Officers or the Equal Opportunity Compliance office can help you understand the accommodations and adjustments available to you based on your individual needs.

Common reasons for requesting accommodations include:

  • Experiencing pregnancy symptoms that are interfering with your schoolwork (e.g., morning sickness, fatigue, hyperemesis gravidarum)
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  • Planning your recovery from delivery (it is recommended you start the accommodation process in advance of your due date) or if you had a complicated delivery and need additional support
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  • Suffering from a postpartum mood disorder, such as postpartum depression, anxiety, or panic
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  • Needing private space on campus to express milk

 

Do my professors need to excuse my absences related to my pregnancy or parenting status?

Yes, if your absences due to pregnancy or related conditions (including recovery from childbirth) are medically necessary. However, even though your absences may be excused, you may still be required to complete assigned coursework. You may be eligible to have alternative assignments assigned, be able to make up missed work, or receive additional time in a program, especially after longer periods of leave. You would continue the program at the same pace and complete it at a later date.

A secondary caregiver’s absences during pregnancy are only excused if the primary caregiver’s doctor believes they are medically necessary.

Learn more about your Title IX Rights.

 

Can my instructor require a doctor's note to excuse my pregnancy-related absences?

State and Federal law protects students for absences related to pregnancy. Students are encouraged to communicate directly with their instructor to align on expectations during extended absences. An interactive conversation between both parties provides clarity to ensure students’ needs are met.

Under federal law, students are not required to submit a doctor’s note unless the school requires a doctor’s note from all students who have a physical or emotional condition requiring treatment by a doctor. The school also must not require a doctor’s note from you after you have been hospitalized for childbirth unless it requires a doctor’s note from all students who have been hospitalized for other conditions.

 

What if I need to be out for an extended period of time?

Your doctor may find that it is medically necessary to be absent due to your pregnancy, related conditions, or to recover from childbirth for an extended period of time. Title IX protects excused absences of this nature for as long as your doctor says it is necessary. You will be allowed to return to the same academic and extracurricular status as before your medical leave began and you will have the opportunity to make up any work missed while you were out.

Additionally, some extended absences or if you have a prolonged medical condition related to your pregnancy, may qualify you as a student with a disability under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Contact Dr. Justin Lawrence at lawrencej@wbu.edu to determine if you are eligible for additional accommodations.

 

Can I still complete my internship or external program requirement?

Yes, pregnant and parenting students will not be denied the ability to participate in an internship, practicum or field experience. Additionally, students can request that specialized industry wear be adjusted/provided as a pregnant student’s body grows.