Re: what constituted discrimination? -Reply -Reply

Linda Purrington (
Wed, 18 Mar 1998 09:42:05 -0800

Adrji, I think it would be lovely if someone decided to push the matter
of male-oriented textbooks in the courts and the community. The
school-community-government links are so odd--in the middle stands a kid
who has almost no civil rights; and the schools inherit this huge mantle
of repect because Education is a Good Thing (and so it is; but it needs
to be qualified); and off to one side stand parents, very often mostly
the mother, trying like mad to help her kid, and end-responsible for
protecting the kid legally even while the child is legally required to
be at school, while the kid is developing and being shoved around, and
the mother inherits this huge burden of being the person most likely to
be condemned for having FAILED to help her child, while being the person
least likely to be given thehelp she needs to help her child. It is a
puzzle. A few bold souls take it out into the community, risking
retaliation and wrath.
Case in point: christine Franklin was a high school student whose
teacher kept sexually assaulting her; she asked the administration for
help, and was ignored; the mess was shoved under the rug. She sued; the
school said she had no standing to sue. Her lawyers took it before the
U.S. Supreme Court; the justices unanimously ruled that she did; and
also that title IX allowed her to seek monetary damages. permits
lawyers to recover their fees; the promise of money permitted lawyers to
take such cases; so they boned up on Title IX and began working with
kids who reported sexual discrimination in the schools. Before then, the
law had mostly been used to even out gross inequities in sports; Title
IX was labeled the sports law and shoved under the rug. We have only had
six years of case law since 1992; and in that time some very interesting
law has been made. A lot more could be done with Title IX if we could
educate people widely about the fact that the law follows outrage and
education, as well as vice versa. If we stand up and yell about why
should school counselors be able to claim governmental immunity when
they were clearly and provably discriminating against children or even
harassing them themselves, we could get that rule changed. That is one
of the points of law not to shut up about. The Petaluma cases both had
one counselor, Homrighouse, who did not protect the girls involved. The
latest case did hand down a ruling that in the future courts might not
look so kindly on the counselor in such situations. So that's a place
where we need to push. Most people have no idea this kind of gross
injustice is codified in law; they believe in a benign government and
universe, and think people are just being paranoid--until it involves
them and their kid. We need to educate! And each case is a teaching
Linda Purrington <>


C123S105L wrote:
> Dear Linda: I take lots of intellectual ''fredoms'' these days and so I am
> going to
> venture into dangerous territory by asserting that I think the so-called
> diference
> between BIAS AND DISCRIMINATION are questions best suited for philosophers.
> I, on the other hand, have to see and try to deal with more practical issues.
> Those
> which concern and DIRECTLY AFFECT the kind of public education my daughter
> is receiving. Suffice to say WE are Not AT ALL pleased. From a philosophical
> point
> of view I think that both terms are too similar to be able to convince any one
> who sets out to prove the definition's flaws and inconsistencies. From a
> practical point
> of view we have to say that whatever one chooses to ''call it'' or whatever
> legal definitions there are to differentiate it, it is disturbingly negative
> and detrimental
> to a girl's education. Right now I haven't yet had time to sit and examine
> this
> question more profoundly but as soon as I can I will. It concerns this legal
> argument
> that TITLE IX did not rule on TEXTBOOK CONTEXT because it infringes on the
> RIGHT OF FREE SPEECH. Well, I would have an easier time accepting and
> believing this rationality if whoever came up with this conclusion would be
> willing
> How is it that this ''freedom of speech'' protects the established status quo
> to the
> extent that ''it keeps the textual dominance of the male gender'' while it
> choses to
> define any challenges against it as ''infringing on free speech ?????
> Can you please let me know a little regarding Franklin vs Gwinnett ?
> <>

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