Title IX Discussion Questions

Linda Purrington (lpurring@earthlink.net)
Wed, 08 Apr 1998 21:29:20 -0700

[Adri, perhaps you or other parents/teachers can use this; or pass it
on. It fits exactly on one page, as a leaflet/handout. Good for opening
up discussions. Linda]

Is Your School Doing a Good Job of Fighting Sex Discrimination?

l. Do teachers call equally on girls and boys in the classroom? Do
they give them equal attention and feedback to encourage learning? An
example of what you don't want to see is teachers telling boys they can
learn to solve problems themselves, while telling the girls how to solve
the problems.

2. Do school staff show zero tolerance for sexual harassment and
gender-based teasing? Do they actively work to prevent such behavior and
always confront it when it arises?

3. Are all academic, athletic, and extracurricular activities coed
unless there is a valid reason for separating girls and boys? Examples
of valid exceptions may include bathrooms and contact sports--but not
math and mentoring projects. Teams should never pit girls against boys.

4. Do materials--such as posters, books, and films--in all subject
and extracurricular activities represent women and men equally?

5. Do materials represent men and women as equally strong and weak,
dependent and independent, powerful and subordinate, etc.? Watch for
materials that show girls as consistently smaller, younger, weaker, more
prone to injury and illness, more likely to be victims, and so on.

6. Are women and girls represented in all projections of the future,
as well as in all historical or past events?

7. Do girls and boys have equal access to and control over the same
quality and quantity of playground space and equipment, including
athletic gear? Do they have the same access to computers? (Signups
can help equalize access.)

8. Are girls and boys treated as equally strong and competent?

9. Are girls and boys disciplined equally? Are girls are "let off"
for flirting or acting demure? Are school rules sometimes broken to
keep male students on athletic teams? Both types of discrimination are
wrong and violate Title IX.

10. Are girls' looks and clothing commented on more frequently than

11. Do girls and boys share equally in all resources available, for
example, federal and state subsidies, or funds supplied by parents and
boosters clubs?

12. Are school staff, at all levels of authority, proportionally male
and female, so they serve as role models?

13. Have all school staff received training in how to handle and
correct sex discrimination and harassment? Have students and parents
been offered similar workshops? Does the whole community recognize the
provisions of Title IX?

14. Does the school have, distribute, and follow a policy defining
sexual harassment and specifying consequences and remedies for staff and
students? Is this policy given to parents, students, and staff at the
beginning of every school year, and again if they report any incidents?

l5. Is there an active, ongoing effort to inform the community and
media about sex equity in the schools? Does the community understand
the concepts of sexual discrimination, sexual harassment, and their
ethical and legal consequences?


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