Re: equity in private schools

Linda Purrington (
Tue, 24 Feb 1998 17:17:34 -0800

"Due process" and "equal protection" mean that laws must be applied
equally and fairly; so that theoretically girls have the same protection
as any other citizen; if (IF) a law exists protecting a certain civil
right, then it must be applied equally. But this is not very strong,
under our history of laws. Title IX is also not very strong. For women
to actually have equal protection under the law, they must some day get
the Equal Rights Amendment passed. Until then the United States does
not give women as solid a basis for civil rights as it gives men. (If
this is hard to believe, or understand, I'm no lawyer either, and it
took me a while--and ever-deepening dismay--to realize some of what the
lawyers were telling me. For the real scoop, go to National Women's Law
Center and talk to Debbie Brake, or NOW Legal Defense and Education, and
talk to Julie Goldscheid, or to Trial Lawyers for Public Justice, and
talke to Russell Tlusic or Brian East.) You can also take a look at the
Stoneking case, for an example of how to use this protection in the
private schools.
You might get more elaborated case law under the fraud/breach of
contract approach. And then there is just reality-testing: It is
against Title IX to have gender apartheid in the public schools, and
this is good, because otherwise the male majority might separate out and
downgrade all-girl classrooms. But it is also true that girls function
better in all-girls classrooms, and boys function less well in all-boys
classrooms. One viable solution is that there should be no all-male
institutions, because that would perpetuate privilege, but all-female
institutions should be allowed if they arise by choice (as private
schools). As a public policy, this allows people to recognize the
historical component of male domination, rather than just claiming that
gender-blind policies necessarily fill all needs.
And finally, you might find a private school suficiently enlightened to
be much safer than the public schools for individual children. There's
a difference between advocating something for a given child and
advocating something as a large-scale public solution. For wide public
policy, it is absolutely crucial that the public schools come into
compliance with Title IX and not be allowed to segregate children on the
basis of sex. It's also crucial that Title IX be upgraded and expanded
to provide tre civil rights for girls, which at the moment it does not.

Linda Purrington <>

________________________________________________________________________________ wrote:
> Can someone tell me what "due Process'' is under the 14th Amendment ?
> this is great info. regarding private schools and how they stand regarding
> Titlte IX.
> we were considering private education (6Grade) for our daughter but I believe
> it
> is almost out of the question now. We never put one and one together and yes
> realized that Title Ix would be difficult to enforce in private schools.
> Adri Lesemann <>

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