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  • The Four Week Challenge: Student Mothers, Maternity Leaves, and Pregnancy-Based Sex Discrimination

    Imagine going to the hospital to have major surgery and being forced to return to school the day after being discharged. If you do not return, you will not be allowed to continue your education. To many this seems unfathomable, if not downright cruel. Yet, this is the situation that Kayla Lewis, a senior at East High School in Denver, Colorado, had to confront. In 2008, Kayla and a group of pregnant teenage girls in a Denver, Colorado school district asked the school board for four weeks of maternity leave so that they could recover from childbirth and bond with their newborn children. Their requests were denied. This note will demonstrate that failing to give a female student maternity leave following delivery of her child is gender discrimination.