When schools ignore Title IX, children suffer

Title IX issues that start in colleges and universities inevitably make their way to K-12 schools, opening society’s eyes to the pervasiveness of the problem at all ages. A year-long investigation by Associated Press reporters provides the latest example — a “hidden horror” of 17,000 sexual assaults by students against other students in grades K-12 over a four-year period. Too often in these cases, students and their parents must rely on Title IX to amplify their cries for help. Student sexual assaults have been the top headline-grabbing Title IX complaint in higher education over the past 6 years or so. The […]

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Title IX case bridged black, women’s movements

Pamela Price entered Yale University in 1974 as a black nationalist with a huge Angela Davis-style afro. She’d never heard of Title IX and wasn’t attracted to any of the women’s organizations on campus. She put her heart and energies into the black community and working for civil rights. By the time she graduated in 1978, though, Price was one of a handful of women at the heart of a pivotal legal case that established for the first time that Title IX covers sexual harassment — Alexander v. Yale. Her involvement bridged the black rights and women’s rights movements on campus. Thus began a […]

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“Hunting Ground” documentary in crosshairs of history

The San Francisco Chronicle published my op-ed article about women finding their voices to speak out against sexual assault and harassment on campuses. It’s online now; look for it in print on Thursday, Nov. 19. This Sunday, Nov. 22, CNN will televise the documentary “The Hunting Ground” about the handling of sexual assaults at colleges and universities. You can watch or record it at 5 p.m. Pacific time (8 p.m. Eastern), followed by a discussion panel featuring the filmmakers and others. Director Kirby Dick and Producer Amy Ziering (creators of the Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated documentary “The Invisible War”) took some […]

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Students as sexual predators: the norm?

What do Title IX, the comedian Betsy Salkind, and the new film The Hunting Ground have in common? A historical thread that’s about to change one sorry aspect of U.S. society. Finally. I hope. The Hunting Ground opens in cities across the United States this week and offers the possibility of a fundamental cultural shift toward respecting that non-consensual sex is an assault even if it’s done by a peer, like a student with a student, and that schools must not hide, tolerate, or condone it. At least, I think that’s what the film may point toward. I plan to see […]

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Fresno tied to Title IX over decades

Video: Bernice Sandler coaches Women’s Studies students and faculty who are trying to improve policies at the California State University, Fresno, in November 2014. People all over the United States have links to Title IX. I’m enjoying seeing the fingers of this important law poke up in some unexpected places as I research its history and today’s in-the-news developments. Among them: Fresno, California, which appears often enough that it serves as an example of nearly every phase of Title IX. For example, Frederick W. Ness was president of Fresno State College just before becoming president of the Association of American Colleges and […]

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37 words that inspired thousands

Bernice Sandler wanted to be a professor. Patsy Takemoto Mink hoped to be a doctor. Meg Newman wanted to play baseball in high school. Emma Sulkowicz just wanted to feel safe on her college campus. Thirty-seven words make those dreams possible today — too late for some of these women, but possible for millions of others, and only because people like Sandler, Mink, Newman, and Sulkowicz fought back when the people in charge told them to go away. These battles are not over. They’re in the news every day. Those 37 words make up Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, […]

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