Re: potential suit against DOE

Linda Purrington (
Wed, 01 Apr 1998 13:38:56 -0800

Hi, Deborah, thanks for the reply. I hear your concerns about the suit
to enforce Title IX. Where can I find the precedents that you refer to,
so I can look though them? What case was it on, and if possible a
contact person, such as the lawyer. Do you see any problem with raising
this as a slogan, however, to educate people? (You will have realized
that as an activist I see doorways where a lawyer may justifiably see
brick walls--maybe we need to keep corresponding and sharing our
respective viewpoints!)
And re Jonesboro, apparently the boys were targeting the girls, the
counselor knew about it; and the girls and boys were apparently
separated for non-bona fide reasons --classrooms, fire drills--that made
the murder possible. I think it is worth following up on that, if only
for community education reasons.
Finally, what is going forward in the Clinnton administration, under
Norma Cantu's leadership of the Office for Civil Rights, that is givving
rise to several poisonous backlash articles in the mainstream press
about Title IX sports gains being extended to other areas of
LInda Purrington, Title IX Advocates
Deborah Brake wrote:
> Hi Linda! I got your voice-mail message, but am only now catching up
> with my messages since I was out of town for six days. While I
> sympathize with your desire to sue DOE for failing to adequately enforce
> Title IX, I'm afraid I think it's a bad idea and would only make bad
> law. As you may recall, we were involved in a somewhat similar lawsuit
> many years ago suing former HEW for failing to set up and follow proper
> procedures for enforcing Title IX. The suit was ultimately thrown out
> and resulted in some very bad rulings on standing and other legal
> issues. Instead, I would suggest another approach: if there is a
> specific instance you're dealing with where OCR has resolved a Title IX
> complaint unsatisfactorily, the best thing to do is to bring a claim
> against the same party in federal court; then in the course of that
> litigation, the plaintiff can bring in evidence to show that OCR failed
> miserably in resolving the Title IX problems -- and do some press around
> it. That kind of lawsuit could set a good legal precedent and turn up
> the heat on OCR. I'm afraid that suing the DOE directly will do nothing
> but set bad legal precedent that could harm other litigants.
> As for the Jonesboro massacre, I'm afraid we would do more harm than
> good for our cause by trying to turn that tragedy into an issue of sex
> discrimination by the school. Unless these two boys had a history of
> harassing and singling out girls for hateful treatment, that the school
> knew about and did nothing to halt, I don't see how the murders (which
> were unexpected, to say the least) can be related to Title IX.
> Keep up the good work! -- Debbie

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