[EDEQUITY] help for a student

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

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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