A Test of How Far Title IX Protections Reach ; the Supreme Court Tuesday Considers the Case of a Fired Coach Who Had Railed against Conditions for Female Athletes

By Warren Richey writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, November 3, 2004 | Go to article overview

A Test of How Far Title IX Protections Reach ; the Supreme Court Tuesday Considers the Case of a Fired Coach Who Had Railed against Conditions for Female Athletes


Warren Richey writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


Gender-bias laws are meant to prevent discrimination against women and girls, but a US Supreme Court case is asking whether those protections also extend to men.

When Congress passed Title IX in 1972, it sought to reverse a nationwide legacy of gender discrimination that had blocked women and girls from fully participating in educational opportunities, including sports.

Lawmakers established two remedial mechanisms. They set up an administrative process with the authority to cut off all federal funding to any school found to be engaging in gender bias. And they opened the doors to federal courthouses for private lawsuits. But what Congress didn't make clear in its groundbreaking legislation was exactly who could file such suits and under what circumstances.

Do the protections of Title IX apply only to girls and women who are direct victims of gender discrimination? Or may third parties - including men - sue when their alleged injury is somehow related to sex discrimination?

Tuesday, the US Supreme Court confronts those questions as it takes up the case of a male coach of a girls' high school basketball team who says he lost his coaching job because of his repeated complaints to school officials that female athletes were being treated as second-class citizens.

Coach Roderick Jackson sued the Birmingham, Ala., Board of Education, claiming the school district had violated Title IX in taking retaliatory action against him. At issue is whether Coach Jackson's firing amounts to a form of gender discrimination under Title IX.

The case is important because if the high court agrees with Jackson and adopts a broad reading of Title IX, it will make it easier to take legal action against gender bias. On the other hand, if the court sides with the school district, a more restrictive reading of the law will help insulate public school districts - and the taxpayers who fund them - from costly litigation by those who have not suffered directly from bias.

The trend at the Supreme Court under Chief Justice William Rehnquist has been to adopt a narrow reading of statutes when Congress does not use explicit language. But it is unclear how the court's swing voters - Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Anthony Kennedy - will view the law.

"Retaliation is simply one variant of discrimination," says Marcia Greenberger of the National Women's Law Center in her brief to the court on behalf of Jackson. "Retaliation is 'on the basis of sex' when it is triggered by a complaint about sex-based discrimination."

Not so, counters Kenneth Thomas, a Birmingham lawyer representing the Board of Education. "There is a palpable difference between discrimination and retaliation," he says in his brief. "Being punished for speaking out on an issue regarding sex is not the same as being discriminated against on the basis of one's sex, particularly where the complainer's sex is not at issue."

Jackson teaches physical education at Ensley High School in Birmingham, and until 2001 he also coached the girls' basketball team. He was removed from the coaching position after complaining that the girls' team was not receiving equal funding and equal access to sports facilities and equipment. …

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
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • 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 ...
Default project is now your active project.
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

A Test of How Far Title IX Protections Reach ; the Supreme Court Tuesday Considers the Case of a Fired Coach Who Had Railed against Conditions for Female Athletes
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
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?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    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

    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.