The US Supreme Court agreed today to hear a case involving a former girls' basketball coach who was allegedly fired after he complained that his team received less money and were forced to use worse facilities than comparable boys' teams. The issue before the Court is whether individuals who are penalized for attempting to ensure that schools do not discriminate against women and girls are eligible to sue under Title IX, the landmark 1972 federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in federally funded education programs.
Roderick Jackson, formerly head coach of girls’ basketball at Ensley High School in Alabama, argues that the girls’ basketball team was forced to use substandard facilities and equipment and received less money and support from the school, in comparison with the boys’ basketball team. Jackson alleges that he was fired after submitting complaints about the problem.
Jackson’s case has been rejected by lower federal courts, including the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, which found that Title IX does not allow any specific right to sue over alleged retaliation, according to the Associated Press. The National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) has taken up the case for Jackson, arguing that Supreme Court precedent holds that other broadly worded anti-discriminatory laws allow suits over alleged retaliation, even when the laws do not expressly bar retaliation. Furthermore, “the strength of our civil rights laws hinges on the willingness of citizens to expose violations,” according to Marcia Greenberger, co-President of NWLC, in a written statement. If individuals cannot seek recourse when they are penalized for protesting sex discrimination, not only would that undermine the right to be free from such discrimination, but it would also increase the prevalence of discrimination, Greenberger continued.
2/27/2015 This Bipartisan Bill Will Hold Colleges Accountable for Ending Campus Sexual Assault - A bipartisan bill aimed at holding colleges and universities accountable for rape and sexual assault cases was introduced in Congress yesterday, spearheaded by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
Some of the Campus Accountability and Safety Act's key key provisions include a requirement of confidential reporting systems on colleges and universities, minimum training requirements for campus personnel, and stricter penalties for schools found to be in violation of Title IX or the Clery Act. . . .
2/26/2015 If This Bill Passes Federal Law Will Add Consent to Sex Ed Curriculums - Right now, federal law does not require health or sex education to include sexual assault prevention - but that could change with a new bill introduced by Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Tim Kaine (D-VA).
The Teach Safe Relationships Act of 2015, which was introduced earlier this month, would require all public secondary schools in the country to include teaching "safe relationship behavior" in order to help prevent domestic violence and sexual assault. . . .