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CUNY reverses decision to penalize pregnant student

Pregnant college students no longer have to worry about facing forced maternity leave from classes.

Stephanie Davis, a Borough of Manhattan Community College student, made headlines several weeks ago when she was told she would not be allowed to make up assignments due to pregnancy related absences. Davis subsequently was forced to drop the class and by doing so, lost her merit-based scholarship.

CUNY has since reached a settlement with Davis, 27, in which her scholarship was fully restored. The university also compensated Davis $3000 to cover expenses.

When Davis was first told by her professor that she would not be able to make up her assignments she appealed to the dean. She was encouraged by her dean to drop the class because her due date was at the end of the semester.

The National Women’s Law Center filed a complaint on behalf of Davis claiming the decision was a direct violation of Title IV of the Education Amendments. Title IV prohibits schools from penalizing pregnant students for necessary medical absences.

CUNY has also adopted a new policy to protect the rights of pregnant and parenting students. Colleges will also provide training to help ensure the policy is properly applied.

Many students who attend CUNY’s seven community colleges are young mothers. Davis is currently in her final semester at BMCC..

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