Former University of California-Davis wrestling coach Michael Burch will receive a $725,000 settlement from UC-Davis after alleging that the university failed to renew his contract in retaliation for speaking out after the women's wrestling team was cut. Burch sued the university for violating Title IX, the landmark federal legislation prohibiting sex discrimination in federally funded educational programs, including athletics. The US Supreme Court in 2005 ruled that those who are the victims of retaliation for drawing attention to Title IX violations can sue under Title IX, in the case Jackson v. Birmingham Board of Education.
"Mike should be applauded for his courage in standing firm to the very end of this difficult saga," said Lisa Maatz, AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund interim director, which supported Burch in his case. "It's regrettable that the university didn’t do right by him – and the female wrestlers – from the very beginning."
A class action suit brought by current and former female UC-Davis wrestlers is still pending. Burch is now serving as assistant wrestling coach at Brown University.
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .