Most Basic Title IX Step Skipped

Schools, colleges, universities, and other educational institutions or programs have had 42 years to designate a Title IX coordinator at each of their institutions, as required by law. How can it be that some still don’t take this most basic step to comply with Title IX — even in the home district of Title IX’s author, the late Rep. Edith Green of Portland, Ore.? It’s been nearly a year since the board of Portland Public Schools ordered employees to figure out why the district allegedly let a male employee get away with years of sexual misconduct and assault, and fix […]

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New Knot in Civil Rights Tug-of-War

The U.S. Department of Education recently inverted a strategy it tried in 1975 to cut back on its work enforcing civil rights laws, including Title IX. Public outcry from  organizations for minorities, women, and the disabled — plus a supportive court ruling — forced federal officials to back off in 1975. Will it today? Historically, the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights has used two approaches to enforce civil rights — investigating individual complaints of discrimination, and broader “compliance reviews” of an educational institution as a whole. Compliance reviews may be scheduled any time, or can arise from complaints. In […]

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Title IX critics huddle up for special treatment

When I read complaints that Title IX enforcement goes too far in dealing with sexual assault on campus, I think of football. Not because this topic is a political football being tossed around in the court of public opinion, though there’s that. In the history of Title IX, today’s complainers of government “overreach” in dealing with sexual assaults have a lot in common with college football teams and other men’s sports, but especially football. What they want, it seems, is for people to realize that they’re special, and that they deserve special rules. The government more than once has bent over backwards […]

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Happy birthday, Title IX! (from some of us)

Title IX is 45 years old this month! Imagine having your logic, your morality, and even your right to exist constantly being questioned for 45 years — essentially, what most women encounter in overt or subtle ways in our sexist society. You’d be tired of this nonsense by now, right? That’s what Title IX has faced since Congress passed it and President Nixon signed it on June 23, 1972. Fortunately, enough people understand the need to prohibit sex discrimination in education and have benefited from Title IX, giving this law the strength to persist. Compare the muscles and skills of today’s female […]

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Framing Title IX controversies: New or old?

The media and anti-Title IX pundits are fond of framing controversies around campus sexual assaults as a relatively “new” phenomenon that started in 2011. Too often that leaves out the 45-year history of schools and colleges unfairly ignoring, obstinately defying, and only reluctantly complying with Title IX’s mandate to fight sex discrimination in education. A case in point: The Chronicle of Higher Education, which probably has the best and most extensive Title IX coverage of any media outlet over the years, published a lengthy and very interesting article (available to subscribers), “One Letter Changed Colleges’ Response to Rape Cases.” The article described events since the Office for Civil […]

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Office for Civil Rights helped, hindered Title IX

Republican and Democratic Administrations have different track records for Office of Civil Rights enforcement of Title IX. (The OCR is part of the Executive Branch.) Three videos in this blog — with former OCR officials Martin Gerry, Cindy Brown, and Deborah Ashford — give a taste of that divide from the 1970s under the Nixon, Ford, and Carter Administrations. After Title IX became law in 1972, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) had to write regulations to implement the law. That’s standard procedure, usually accomplished in a matter of months for many laws, but the Nixon and Ford […]

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