Refusal to act; sabotage of information

Linda Purrington (
Mon, 04 May 1998 08:43:21 -0700

Take a look at the material on this web site: do you think it shows that
material on Title IX is widely dispersed?

This has been more or less my experience all across the country. If you
supply booklets and brochures that do not present the materials in forms
that students and parents understand, and so dully that they can hardly
be learned, or in such obscure places that no one would think of finding
them there, you have effectively hidden that information from the
I have watched OCR lead investigators/educators toady to strutting
little principals who have ignored attacks on girls at their schools,
before groups of parents who were distraught and puzzled and finally
gave up. I have watched state universities finally give in to the
pressure to place information on sexual harassment in the hands of
students--excising all mention of laws, procedures, personnel,
addresses, phone numbers, etc. from the materials passed out--and then
issue keep-away orders for the student activists who out of their own
pockets sought to fund such information and pass it out on campus. I
have watched leading "experts" on gender equity rake in the dough for
workshops that never once mentioned the routes for redress of
violations. I have watched the parents of girls who were raped and then
pilloried on campuses search for the guidelines until the statute of
limitations had run out, begging for some kind of help and justice.
I know there are pockets of goodwill; but they do not redeem the big
picture. The wholesale suppression of basic information points to a
conflict of interest--nothing else would so surely subvert progress
toward equity. People who are serious about equity must make their
contribution in an arena that is not as compromised as the educational
establishment--they need to take to the streets--to the media, to the
courts, to the Net.
Linda Purrington
TitleIX Advocates

McKevitt, Susan wrote:
> As a civil rights advocate working professionally with a department of
> education I would like to add that information, at least here in NH, is
> widely dispersed to parents, students, teachers and administrators. The
> belief is that the better informed people are about their rights and
> responsibilities, the more able people will be in insisting that those
> rights be actualized. I may be misreading the question but I do not know
> any of my counter parts in this field, or those in my past occupation as
> the Deputy Director for Human Rights that withhold information. In fact,
> the frustration is in not having the capability of being more comprehensive
> in its distribution, and in finding conditions do not change dramatically
> once the info. is out there. Obviously, more than being informed is
> necessary for mass action. It truly is the key for individual movement. It
> will take in addition to individuals insisting on our right, larger group
> actions to change the environment of prejudice and oppression.
> Susan McKevitt
> Administrator
> Bureau for Equity
> NH Department of Education
> 101 Pleasant Street
> Concord, NH 03301
> Phone (603) 271-6613
> Fax (603) 271-1953
> Email:
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Brown & Dempsey []
> Sent: Friday, May 01, 1998 12:50 PM
> To:
> Subject: RE: Reluctance to act?
> Everyone in the equity business is a stakeholder. Each
> stakeholder has marked (staked) out a speciality. If
> everyone has all of the information they will no longer
> be specialists. When the industrial revolution was in
> full force we were taught that specialization was the
> hallmark of success. Before that we were generalists and
> most folks did many jobs well so they could survive.
> Now we are facing the information age and once again we
> will be expected to have a broader base of applicable
> skills. As we become more broadly competent we will
> erode the stranglehold that the specialists have on the
> centralization of knowledge. Your question is parallel
> to the one about why, when the corporation is downsized,
> folks don't just use the knowledge they have to lateral
> into another position within the structure. The answer
> is that we told them they didn't have to know that
> because we would take care of them. Now gender equity is
> in the hands of the specialists. Actually almost all of
> the information is available to the competent researcher
> with the motivation. We just don't want to tell "them"
> where to find it. (see Alvin Toffler, John Naisbitt and
> even John Locke)
> Herb Dempsey
> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> []On Behalf Of
> Linda Purrington
> Sent: Thursday, April 30, 1998 9:41 AM
> To:
> Subject: Reluctance to act?
> I keep being puzzled by the calls to research. Does
> this mask a
> reluctance to act? For example, what stops us now from
> putting current
> research and the text and significance of Title IX into
> the hands of
> each student and family? Wouldn't that in itself
> produce the
> from-the-ground-up changes we're looking for? Why is
> that move so
> blocked? Why are even national women's organizations so
> adamant on the
> local level that Title IX information per se is to be
> suppressed? Any
> ideas?
> Linda Purrington,

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