Students and Breastfeeding

Advocating for Pregnant and Parenting Students

Both Federal and State laws protect a pregnant or parenting student’s (PPS) right to an equal education.

Reasonable accommodations should be made for PPS similar to other students with temporary disabilities:

Federal Title IX of Education Amendments of 1972

WHO: All institutions (public or private) that receive federal funding

WHAT: Cannot discriminate on the basis of sex

INCLUDES: “actual or potential” parental, family or marital status“, ‘pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery therefrom.

California Education Code 200-201

WHAT: “Affirmative obligation” to combat racism, sexism and other bias.

Lactation Accommodation Language vetted by California Women’s Law Center

Federal Title IX:  Schools are prohibited from discriminating against pregnant and parenting students under Federal Title IX.    Lactation is a normal part of pregnancy and parenting.  Reasonable accommodations should be made to be in Title IX compliance.

Advocating

1.  Inform pregnant student of their rights!

  • While they are pregnant
  • Coordinate with their Caseworkers

2.  For K-12 – Contact the Title IX Coordinator

  • At the school
  • At local district
  • EXAMPLE:  LAUSD Central Title IX Office: (213) 241-7682

3.  For Higher Education  – Contact:

  • Student Disability Department
  • Associated Students
  • Women’s Center (Gender Studies)
  • Health Center

 Discrimination Examples:

  •  Punitive absence policies
  •  No homebound services (requiring students back to school before 6 weeks.)
  •  Environment of discouragement
  •  Unequal educational alternative programs
  •  Failure to provide reasonable accommodations for lactation (creating food insecurity)

Complaint Filing:

www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/howto.html

WHO: Anyone can file the complaint.

WHEN: Within 180 days of the alleged discrimination (extensions possible)

HOW: Mail, Fax, Online or Email: ocr@ed.gov

WHAT:

  1. Your name, Address (if available), Phone
  2. Information about the mother experiencing discrimination
  3. Name and location of Institution
  4. Description of the discriminatory acts

Resources:

  • California Department of Public Health

    New In-Hospital Breastfeeding Data.

    Read more here!

  • Healthcare

    The Regional Hospital Breastfeeding Consortium (RHBC) meetings to provide ongoing support and guidance for staff from participating hospitals. Learn more

  • LA Convention Center-Breastfeeding Friendly!

    Learn more here.

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