Title IX Lawsuits

By Tungate, David E.; Orie, Daniel P. | Phi Delta Kappan, April 1998 | Go to article overview

Title IX Lawsuits


Tungate, David E., Orie, Daniel P., Phi Delta Kappan


Nearly all high schools, colleges, and Universities are vulnerable to Title IX lawsuits. As part of a school's effort to comply with Title IX, it is wise to prepare for potential lawsuits before full compliance is accomplished, Mr. Tungate and Mr. Orie point out.

Universities have found that going to court is not the best way to resolve a Title IX dispute. Since Brown University lost Amy Cohen et al. v. Brown University et al. after a bruising four-year battle that cost more than half a million dollars, most colleges and secondary schools have learned that it's best to try to settle when sued under Title IX. A Title IX case begins when an individual files a complaint with a school, files a complaint with the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR), or files a lawsuit in federal court.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits gender discrimination at any educational institution that receives federal assistance. The provisions of Title IX did not take effect until 1978. Once they did, a flurry of lawsuits ended with the U.S. Supreme Court's 1984 ruling in Grove City v. Ball, which severely restricted the application of the law. The 1988 Civil Rights Restoration Act put the teeth back into Title IX, and today we are witnessing a new wave of Title IX litigation at the college and high school levels. A school that violates Title IX runs the risk of losing its federal funding, being forced to adopt a court-ordered compliance program, and having to pay compensatory and punitive damages.

Sports programs are frequently the targets of complaints filed with the OCR. The OCR begins its investigation by determining whether there is gender balance in the entire athletic program - not just in. individual sports. The OCR recognizes that some sports are dominated by one gender, but it wants to see that a school's athletic program as a whole offers opportunities to both men and women in proportion to their numbers in the school.

At the high school level, even if the OCR finds overall equality in a school's athletic program, the agency could still find the school in violation of Title IX in a specific area. According to the U.S. Department of Education, a school's athletic program complies with the law if it can demonstrate that:

* the participation of women is substantially proportional to their enrollment;

* the program has a history of expanding opportunities for women; and

* the interests and abilities of women have been fully and effectively accommodated.

Brown University: The Landmark Case

The longest-running and most expensive Title IX case to date is Cohen et al., the case with which we opened. This class action suit began when Brown University, in a cost-cutting move, downgraded two men's and two women's varsity programs to club status. The demotion affected 37 men and 23 women. Nine women from the demoted women's gymnastics and volleyball teams sued the university for violation of Title IX.

At the time of the suit, Brown had one of the most gender-equal athletic programs in the country. Nationally, 51% of college students are women, yet only 31% of athletes are women. At Brown, women make up 49% of the student population and 39% of the athletes.

The university argued that its athletic program "fully and effectively accommodated the interests and abilities" of its students and thus complied with Title IX. The court, however, focused on the disparities between gender ratios in the student population and in the athlete population and between funding for men's and women's programs.

After multiple decisions by both a district court and the First Circuit Court of Appeals and an unsuccessful attempt to have the U.S. Supreme Court reconsider, Brown had to comply with a court-approved Title IX corrective action plan and was stuck with half a million dollars in legal fees.

Virginia Tech: Roll Over and Play Dead

The experience of Brown University was not lost on other schools.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Title IX Lawsuits
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.