By Laura Pappano
Sure, research shows that high school girls who play sports are less likely than their non-athletic peers to get pregnant. But sometimes it happens.
When it does, schools and districts need fair and sensible policies that allow girls (with guidance from a physician) to continue to compete and participate, particularly early in the pregnancy.
For Mackenzie McCollum, a 17-year-old senior at Arlington Heights High School in Fort Worth, Texas and the center on the school’s volleyball team, the trauma of discovering that she was pregnant was compounded by school officials whose misdirected response has left her and her mother battling the district and raising the profile of pregnant athletes’ rights. According to a report on ESPN, McCollum was at times barred from the team and then allowed to play, but given dramatically reduced playing time, even though she was in her first trimester of pregnancy and had the written support of her physician.