From: Linda Purrington (lpurring@earthlink.net)
Date: Tue Nov 21 2000 - 12:50:36 EST

      AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund in NYS

AAUW's Legal Advocacy Fund (LAF) provides funding and a support system
for women
seeking judicial redress for sex discrimination in higher education.
Since 1981 LAF has
helped students, faculty, and administrators challenge discriminatory
practices involving:

     sexual harassment
     denial of tenure or promotion
     aid for women's athletics programs

LAF has provided more than $600,000 in financial support - including
thousands of dollars in technical assistance - for more that 57 lawsuits
since 1981.

The New York State Legal Advocacy Fund has three ambitious goals for
 1.to maintain 100% branch participation in giving to achieve more
branches earning the LAF
Star (This is a real challenge because the per capita amount has
raised to $5.00 this year to
     earn the Star.)
 2.to increase the NYS LAF contribution level, in order
 3.to move us from us from 6th to 4th place in the country.

The new LAF Pin will be available throughout 2000 for donors who give
$100. or more. To meet the contribution deadline, all money must be
received by the NYS
LAF Director by December 31,2000.

The NYS LAF Director will be speaking at several AAUW Long Island
Branches the week of
September 18th. Contact her for further information or to contribute.

To contribute or for information contact the NYS Legal Advocacy Fund
Director, Evelyn Currie.

LAF Research Report: A License for Bias: Sex Discrimination, Schools and

On Thursday, November 16, 2000 LAF (AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund) released
its first research report, A License for Bias: Sex Discrimination, Schools
and Title IX.
The report investigates the Department of Education's Title IX enforcement
efforts from the fall
1993-1997. (Title IX is a federal legislation prohibiting sex
discrimination in educational
institutions that receive federal funds.)

Researchers analyzed documents focused on non-sports related cases:
sexual harassment;
admissions, financial aid, and standardized testing; recruitment and
counseling; and hirings,
promotion, and tenure. The report found that students most often
complain of staff-to-student sexual
harassment, such as inappropriate touching and offensive comments.
Moreover, the research
indicates that federally funded educational institutions widely ignore
the federal mandate requiring
that they establish grievance procedures for addressing sex

PIE Awards:

Does your local college or university have a program promoting sex
equity on campus? If so,
nominate it for the AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund Progress in Equity (PIE)

LAF Case Updates 11/10/2000: AAUW Signs Onto Sexual Harassment Case

AAUW signed on as amicus curie (friend of the court) in Gleason v, Board
of Trustees of Salem College, a case slated for argument in the U.S. First
Circuit Court. At
issue is whether Congress intended for Title IX to preclude claims alleging
sex discrimination in
an education program under 42 U.S. C. section 1983. Typically, section 1983
is used as a vehicle to
bring constitutional claims of a violation of equal protection or due
process. In the Gleason case, the
plaintiff, Deborah Gleason, a student at Salem State College, alleges that
a professor at the college
sexually harassed her. The plaintiff claims that although she filed a
formal complaint with the
appropriate office at Salem State College, the college took no action to
stop the sexual harassment.

Gleason filed an amended complaint in the U.S. District Court, District
of Massachusetts, asserting claims for damages under Title IX and section
1983. The plaintiff's
section 1983 claim was dismissed under the same rationale as the district
court's decision in
Canty v. Old Rochester Regional School District, a case in which AAUW
signed on as amicus curie
in October 1999. The Canty case alleged a substantive due process claim
under section 1983.
In Canty, the district court held that the plaintiff could proceed with her
claim under Title IX
only, and not section 1983.

AAUW believes that sexual harassment is a form of sexual discrimination
under Title IX and that Congress did not intend for Title IX to replace
remedies available under
section 1983. According to the National Women's Law Center: "Title IX was
passed in order to
facilitate access to equal educational opportunities, not to preempt
constitutional claims. Barring
section 1983 claims would leave women and girls with no ability to assert
their Constitutional
rights in educational settings."

From: Linda Purrington <lpurring@earthlink.net>

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