Date: September 26, 2013
For Immediate Release
Contact: Andrew DeBlock
LOS ANGELES – Today, the California Women’s Law Center (CWLC) announced that Tiffany Rollins, a student in the Veterinary Technology Program at Yuba College, has successfully completed her coursework and earned an Associate of Science Degree in Veterinary Technology.
Ms. Rollins was the victim of unlawful sex discrimination and retaliation in violation of Title IX and other civil rights statutes. During her last semester in the Veterinary Technology Program, Ms. Rollins was unlawfully forced to drop out of her classes solely because she was pregnant. Citing the need to protect her “developing fetus,” program administrators barred Ms. Rollins from her classes, preventing her from graduating with her class as planned. After filing a complaint with Yuba College administrators, Ms. Rollins was allowed back into her classes for a short time only to be dismissed again for a litany of reasons allegedly unrelated to her pregnancy.
Title IX requires schools to treat pregnant students in the same manner as their non-pregnant peers, without discrimination or harassment. Under Title IX, pregnant students have the right to remain in school and cannot be excluded from any program, class or activity because of their pregnancy. Title IX also precludes schools from retaliating against any students who complain about sex discrimination.
“We were happy to assist Ms. Rollins in her complaint against Yuba College and delighted she was able to graduate on time,” said Betsy Butler, Interim Executive Director at the California Women’s Law Center. “We thank the school for working with us to find an equitable and just resolution to Ms. Rollins’ complaint.”
“The California Women’s Law Center is deeply concerned about the pervasive discrimination against pregnant students,” said Cacilia Kim, Senior Staff Attorney at the California Women’s Law Center. “Ms. Rollins’ right to pursue all educational opportunities is clearly protected under Title IX. Any effort to prevent her from doing so is outdated and illegal.”
In addition to the protections under Title IX and other civil rights statutes, Yuba College’s own written policies state that reasonable accommodations should be made for pregnant students to allow them to finish the program.
“Pregnancy should not interfere with a woman’s education,” said Tiffany Rollins. “No one should be able to prevent a student from having a family and pursuing an education .”
The California Women’s Law Center (CWLC) works to ensure, through systemic change, that life opportunities for women and girls are free from unjust social, economic, and political constraints.
Founded in 1989, the CWLC focuses on the following issue areas: gender discrimination, women’s health, violence against women, reproductive justice and the unique concerns of women veterans.