Hart District revises board policies

The William S. Hart Union High School District. Dan Watson/The Signal
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The William S. Hart Union High School District governing board discussed updating policies on teen pregnancy/parenting and response to immigration enforcement during Wednesday’s board meeting.

The board policies, which will be brought back for a second reading and be up for approval at the next board meeting, specify the rights teen parents have while attending school, and how the district will handle a student’s information whose parents were detained by immigration law enforcement or deported, respectively.

“The primary change to the policy, adopted on May 13, 1998, is the inclusion of language to provide eight weeks of parental leave to allow pregnant or parenting students to care for and bond with the infant,” said Mike Kuhlman, deputy superintendent at the district.

Along with parental leave, the policy states accommodations must be made for lactating students which include a private area with a power source and a place to store breast milk safely.

The policy states by implementing these changes, the governing board will offer continued support for students who are married, pregnant or parenting to avoid an increased risk of dropping out and ensuring their academic success.

The policy regarding immigration enforcement states children whose parents have been detained or deported would be released to the next person listed on their emergency contact form or a person who has an authorized caregiver affidavit.

The policy also states the district is prohibited from collecting information regarding a student’s, or their families, citizenship or immigration status. 

“Both of these items will bring us into compliance with the law,” said Kuhlman.

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