Title IX – Prohibiting Sex Discrimination in Schools

Updated 4/30/2014

Since its creation, Title IX has made a tremendous impact on sex discrimination within the education system.  Although Title IX is mostly known for increasing female participation in school-sponsored athletics, Title IX covers gender-based discrimination in all curricular and extra-curricular activities, including sex-stereotyping, sexual harassment, discrimination against pregnant and parenting students, and discrimination based on gender identity or expression.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, also known as the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act, states that, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.” In 2014, the US Department of Education released a statement clarifying that the non-discrimination provisions of Title IX apply equally to “claims of discrimination based on gender identity or failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity and OCR accepts such complaints for investigation. Similarly, the actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity of the parties does not change a school’s obligations.”

Title IX is a continuing rally call to completely erase gender-discrimination from our education system.  Though participation by females in sports has increased by almost 90% since 1972, there are roughly 1.3 million fewer female student athletes than male, and many schools still have unequal facilities and resources for female athletes.  Numerous schools continue to influence pregnant teens to leave school or enter into inferior, alternative educational programs, and 70% of pregnant teenagers eventually drop out.  Though Title IX has helped narrow the achievement gap for males and females in science, technology, engineering, and math gender-based stereotypes still negatively affect the advancements of girls in these areas.

Now more than ever, we need to support Title IX in our school systems.  If you feel that that your school or educational program is violating Title IX, contact your Title IX Coordinator, your local Congressional representative or the ACLU of Hawaii.  Show your support for Title IX today by signing the ACLU of Hawaii’s op-ed on Title IX below.

Title IX will be a prominent portion of the ACLU of Hawaii’s youth rights guide planned for 2012.  For a sample of what to expect in the handbook, check out this FAQ about Title IX and its provisions:

To read the 40th Anniversary of Title IX article from the ACLU of Hawaii and Title IX supporters, click here. To show your support for Title IX and join this list of supporters, email office@acluhawaii.org.

To find your local Title IX Coordinator, visit: http://www.titleix.info/Get-Involved/Find-Your-Title-IX-Coordinator.aspx

To learn more about how to take action to enforce Title IX, visit: http://www.titleix.info/Get-Involved/Take-Action.aspx

The ACLU Title IX and gender equity in education portal: http://www.aclu.org/title-ix-gender-equity-education

To read the recent National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education’s (NCWGE) report on Title IX, see: http://www.ncwge.org/TitleIX40/TitleIX-print.pdf

To view the US Department of Educations statement on gender identity and Title IX, see: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/qa-201404-title-ix.pdf#12

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