When I was three months pregnant, I told my teacher I needed to go to the restroom, but he refused to let me go.
So I said, “I need to. I’m pregnant and I’m going to go.”
Instead of understanding and letting me leave, he said that I needed a nurse’s note. Then he laughed and said, “You’re pregnant?!”
“Yeah,” I said, and walked out of the room.
After that incident, I had problems. I had pain and spotting. I had a bladder infection. I went to the school nurse. I told her about my pains. I told her, “I’m pregnant and my teacher doesn’t let me use the restroom.” The nurse called my parents to come and pick me up. They took me to the emergency room. Finally, I got some papers to take to school from my OBGYN.
I showed the papers to the nurse, who gave me a confidential note letting me use the restroom when I needed it. When I went back to the teacher and showed him the note, he still said I couldn’t go, saying it had to be in my school file. When I got up to use the restroom during class, the teacher called the nurse, who told him I had a note.
But after all that, the teacher would also say to me “Oh, there you go again with your note,” every time I had to leave the classroom.
What’s my advice to other pregnant students? From the moment you find out that you’re pregnant, ask your OBGYN for papers to take to school, see the school nurse, and get a confidential medical note saying you can leave. That way, you can keep your information and your situation confidential, and you won’t have to risk telling teachers or other students who might be rude or not take you seriously.
“Nezlyn,” 17 years old