Title IX at 45

The 45th anniversary of Title IX, the groundbreaking antidiscrimination law ensuring protection against sex discrimination in education, is this June. Experts weigh in on progress made in recent years, and what is needed to ensure it continues.

Rising above partisanship and gender politics, Title IX has historically garnered support from both Democrats and Republicans. This, according to Lisa Maatz, vice president of government relations and advocacy for the American Association of University Women (AAUW), is because the law guarantees equal rights to an education for girls and boys, and women and men. Title IX’s mandate extends far beyond its widely known role in expanding women’s access to athletics programs.

 “Title IX is hugely popular, and it’s a bipartisan issue. We don’t expect that to change,” Maatz said.

Echoing this sentiment, Sue Klein, Ed.D., education equity director for the Feminist Majority Foundation and a 34-year veteran of gender-equity research at the U.S. Department of Education, notes that many state and local laws also guarantee equal education rights to girls and boys and to women and men, and that federal agencies such as NASA, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Justice support gender-rights education programs and activities along with the Education Department.

Dr. Klein and the Feminist Majority Foundation urge Title IX supporters to show their commitment to ending sex discrimination in their own communities by building on the Obama administration’s good work, including providing guidance, tools, and public enforcement decisions that have fortified Title IX. In view of all the unknowns posed by a new administration in Washington, advocates are also preparing to celebrate the groundbreaking antidiscrimination law’s 45th anniversary in June, making Dr. Klein’s recommendation all the more timely.


The people responsible for making sure Title IX works in schools, colleges, and universities across the country are called coordinators. At least one Title IX coordinator is required to work in every institution nationwide that receives federal funds for education programs or activities, and information about how to contact them should be posted on each school’s website.

Indeed, the Obama administration’s Department of Education encouraged greater attention to the important roles of required Title IX coordinators by providing the Title IX Resource Guide (http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/dcl-title-ix-coordinators-guide-201504.pdf) and the names, emails, and other ways to contact Title IX coordinators in 16,000 school districts and 7,000 colleges and universities, Dr. Klein said.

These school district Title IX coordinators are also encouraged to train and work with counterparts in all their public schools, to establish teams of coordinators with expertise in many areas of Title IX responsibility, such as ending sex discrimination and gender stereotyping in academics, athletics, employment, disciplinary practices, and sexual harassment and assault.

For example, Stop Sexual Assault in Schools (http://stopsexualassaultinschools.org/) has released its action plan on video, “Sexual Harassment: Not in Our School,” which showcases a student gender equity group learning from legal and education experts, student survivors, Title IX coordinators, and victim assistance providers about practical ways to ensure that their schools provide safe and equal learning opportunities.

That’s important because of intensified efforts by students, elected officials, and the Obama administration to deal with issues such as sexual violence, sexual harassment, LGBTQ discrimination, and equal access for women and girls to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs, and to college lab space, research assistants, and other support proportionate to their male colleagues.

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With Trump’s Title IX stance unknown, video aims to educate about sexual harassment at school

National experts on sexual harassment in K-12 schools have teamed up to create a new educational video about gender equality, intended to inform students that they have a legal right to attend a school where nobody is harassed because of their gender.

The timing couldn’t be better, said Esther Warkov, cofounder of the nonprofit group Stop Sexual Assault in Schools, which produced the free video for use by schools, clubs and parent groups. President-elect Donald Trump, who boasted in a 2005 video about his ability to sexually assault women, has “normalized” traumatic harassment, Warkov said, and sent a disturbing message to children and teenagers. And the Republican Party platform has stated its opposition to the Obama administration’s decision to apply legal protections from harassment to students who are gay, transgender or gender nonconforming — including the right of transgender students to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity.

“Our video explains how detrimental sexual harassment is to students,” she said, “and why schools must take complaints seriously and compassionately.”

The video features well-known gender equality researchers, including Keasara Williams, director of equity and Title IX compliance for the San Francisco Unified School District, and Caroline Heldman, associate professor of politics at Occidental College, who created the popular TED talk “The Sexy Lie” about the objectification of women.

In the 44 years since Title IX of the Education Act of 1972 prohibited discrimination in schools based on sex, the law has come to be understood to applyto students who are being discriminated against because of the way they present themselves in regards to gender stereotypes. With students increasingly coming out at school as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or “gender fluid,” bullying may be defined as discriminatory harassment, which is a civil rights violation. Warkov explained that the video, “Sexual Harassment: Not in Our School!”, is an effort to provide the information that most schools do not provide to students, parents and staff.

Trump’s election has some students concerned about an uptick in harassment. “It’s upsetting because I’ve had family members who have been harassed sexually,” said Jasmin Melendrez, 14, a freshman at Fremont High School in Oakland. “It will be easier for men to do that.”

“He’s definitely sexist,” said Max Burk, 15, a Berkeley High School student.

“I’m scared because I’m gay,” said Clementine Gunter, 16, a junior at Berkeley High School. “His vice president believes in gay conversion.” Gay conversion is the practice of subjecting gay and lesbian individuals to a treatment intended to covert them into heterosexuals. The so-called “therapy” is illegal in California. The harm caused by the treatment includes feelings of depression and suicidal ideation.


read more: https://edsource.org/2016/with-trumps-title-ix-stance-unknown-video-aims-to-educate-about-sexual-harassment-at-school/573616


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