[EDEQUITY] help for a student

From: Jennifer Engle (jengle@american.edu)
Date: Fri May 26 2000 - 10:58:17 EDT

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    I too experienced this situation when I graduated from high school 6 years
    ago. I was on the Senior Student Council that decided on the color of the
    graduation gowns and I objected to different color gowns for girls and boys
    (black for boys and gold for girls). I felt that differentiating by gender
    was arbitrary in a graduation ceremony and I asked whether we would be
    receiving "little girl diplomas" and "little boy diplomas" too. My
    classmates responded to my objections with the final vote of 19 to 1 to
    black and gold gowns at the ceremony.

    Although I did not know about Title IX in high school, I do know about a
    complaint that was filed with the Office for Civil Rights in which a group
    of middle school girls were not allowed to participate in a graduation
    ceremony because they did not meet the dress code requirements, but a group
    of boys who did not meet the requirements were allowed to participate. OCR
    found that the school did not act in accordance with Title IX by denying
    participation on the basis of sex (differential treatment on the basis of
    sex). The student might try to contact the Title IX coordinator for the
    district (if there is one for her district) or a regional OCR office for
    technical assistance.

    Good luck,

    Jennifer Engle
    American University

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