Re: Opening Statement - Deborah Brake

H Furbrow (
Tue, 21 Apr 1998 14:40:15 PDT

>Overall, I think it's very important that we get past a boys vs. girls
>approach to educational equity and ask what works best for all
>Where girls -- or boys -- face particular disadvantages because of
>sex, both Title IX and the Constitution permit schools to offer
>specifically designed to take those needs into account.
>Deborah Brake

Ms. Brake,

If you believe that the problems in
"disadvantaged neighborhoods", which I'll
take to mean the inner cities, are
"gender neutral" as you say, then I can see
how you can reduce my questions and statements
as simply "boys vs. girls".

If we are here to truly discuss "Educational
Equity", do we have any examples of programs
specifically aimed at boys? I certainly
can't find any at any of the HHS or
Education sites I visit.

But there are "Girl Power" and "Bright Future for
Girls", which bemoan the "self esteem" and
"depression" problems of young girls. Donna
Shalala is pitching these programs at every
speaking engagement, talking about the suicide
problem specific to girls. The truth is that
school age boys are committing suicide at six
times the rate of their sisters. I think that
boys committing suicide is a slight indication
that there might be self esteem and depression
issues going on for our male children.

Millions of dollars for girls. Fine. There is a
perceived problem.

Nothing for boys. Not one federal cent. Nothing
could I find at ant state level either. Not even
a mention by Donna Shalala, who *must* have a clue
about the actual suicide numbers, given that they
are compiled by her department. The closest she
came was a mention that suicide is up among blacks.
She failed, however, to mention that it was only up
amoung black males. It has actually gone down for
black females. You can't blame upward mobility for
the phenomenon, as Shalala tried to do, unless you
concede that black male children are left behind
their sisters in social advances.

It's my understanding that death has a tremendously
terrible impact on one's eduational opportunities.

H. Furbrow

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