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Civil Rights Office Finds Community College Violated Title IX

June 15, 2022

Salt Lake Community College in Utah was found to have violated Title IX after encouraging a pregnant student to drop a course without providing academic adjustments needed to accommodate her pregnancy, among other violations, according to a statement by the Office for Civil Rights on the resolution released Tuesday.

In its investigation, OCR found that Salt Lake Community College failed to provide the student excused absences for classes missed due to her pregnancy, did not work with the student to find proper services and academic adjustments, did not give her the opportunity to make up work missed due to her pregnancy, and did not respond in a sufficient way to the student’s complaint of pregnancy discrimination. OCR did not name the course.

The college was also found to have violated Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 by failing to consider whether the student’s pregnancy caused a temporary disability that would require academic adjustments.

Peta Owens-Listen, spokesperson for Salt Lake Community College, said that the college is “dedicated to creating an inclusive, welcoming environment for all students and takes all complaints regarding discrimination seriously.”

Owens-Listen continued, “We are working with the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to address this complaint and taking concrete steps to ensure reasonable accommodations are made moving forward. These steps include strengthening internal processes related to investigating complaints, improving student access to Title IX information, and evaluating and fulfilling requests for accommodation. We will also ensure all staff and faculty are properly trained on the procedures that must be followed when working with students in need of accommodation due to pregnancy.”

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