Title IX is a federal law that provides for the abolishment of gender discrimination in public schools. Prior to Title IX, males were given access to better resources both academically and in athletics. However, the passage of Title IX granted women equal opportunity to all aspects of public education. Today, a large number of lawsuits are being filed because parents believe their daughters are not being given equal opportunities to succeed as their male counterparts.
What Steps Should I Take?
A parent with a daughter that believes she is being discriminated against can take a variety of steps to insure fair and equal access to all levels of education. These steps include:
- Compare Resources - A comparison between male and female access to athletic or academic resources can provide a strong indicator of the discrimination that is occurring between both sexes
- Consult with Officials - Parents can consult with school administrators or athletic personnel to determine reasons why male students may be getting more resources than female students
What If School Officials Don't Cooperate?
There are many instances where school officials won't answer questions regarding the difference in opportunities between males and females. Parents should contact the following agencies:
- District officials, such as superintendents, to make their concerns known
- The Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights
- University Officials - There are many occasions where there are inadequate levels of scholarships for female players and university officials should be alerted to the problem
The Department of Education will conduct an investigation into possible discrimination practices in local school districts and work with schools to provide equal opportunities for girls.
Should I Consult an Attorney?
A government attorney experienced in the area of education and schools can help parents determine the best course of action regarding discrimination by a school. In addition, if school officials refuse to take any action, a lawsuit might be in order to force schools to comply with the provisions of Title IX.