February 28, 2022

Frequently Asked Questions About Pregnant/Parenting Minors Attending School

Cloie Zhou

If you or a loved one is experiencing a pregnancy while still in high school, there are many unknowns and questions you may have. For example, what are my rights as an expecting mother ? What can a school do or not do? Have no fear! In this article, we will highlight the most commonly asked questions to ensure you or your loved ones get the needs and wants that is offered by schools to the fullest extent.  

Is it required by law to attend high school even if I am pregnant?

Yes, it is required by law for minors under 18 to attend and obtain a high school diploma or a G.E.D regardless if you are pregnant or have children.  

Does a school have the right to prevent me from attending any school events ?

You have the right to attend any school events operated by the school. They do not have the right to withhold you from any sport/dance/graduation. You also have the right to transfer schools, do independent study, enroll in continuation school or a GED program.  

Am I required to attend a parenting program provided by the school?

No, the school cannot require you to enroll in a parenting program. They can offer resources to you, but ultimately It is your choice to attend a parenting class and/or program

What are my rights regarding keeping my pregnancy a secret?

The school, including the staff cannot disclose any information about your pregnancy to a third party without your permission.  

Will my absence be excused if I am sick prior and after I am pregnant?

Yes, the school will excuse your absence if you have a doctor's appointment or feeling sick. The school also has the responsibility to provide you with tutoring and at home alternatives if you are too sick to physically attend school.  

Can I get an excused absence if my child is sick/has a doctor's appointment?

Yes, you can be excused.  

Who can I contact if my needs are not being met by my school?

Contact the principal or the district office if you feel like your school is not doing the utmost they can to help you.  

Cloie is a psychology intern at the Thaddeus Resource Center Agape House. She studies Psychology at the University of California, Riverside and aspires to be in the mental health field serving young children and adolescents. In her free time, she likes to cook and read.