Acting effectively to stop discrimination

Linda Purrington (
Mon, 04 May 1998 08:52:13 -0700

I think it is time to hold the OCR to the same standard the courts are
beginning to hold individual school districts to: If you act, but do not
act effectively, you have not done what was needed to enforce Title IX.
The Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education has
never enforced Title IX; has never invoked the sanction of removing the
federal funds from a noncomplying school. The OCR still uses the
language "We accept the ___school district as being in compliance on the
basis of a written promise to comply." We have no compliance with Title
IX. We have no justice among our children. How on earth are we going to
raise a generation of citizens who can create justice among themselves
if all we do is create first-and second-class citizenry in our schools?
And is it true that the OCR is beyond the reach of private lawsuit? Then
take the demands for justice to the streets and media, to the Net, put
it out around the world.
Linda Purrington
Title IX Advocates

Jacquelyn Zimmerman wrote:
> Linda, I think what you say here is a reiteration of what I said in the
> message to which you are replying: one battle was won but not the war.
> I agree, at least it appears that way. The question is: what shall we
> do about the conditions you raise? Your public/private dichotomy below
> may be better turned into a public-private cooperative. For example,
> would Title IX be possible without the federal component? And, on the
> other side, perhaps the private case you mention will bring to light
> better what OCR needs to do that it's not doing as you see it.
> Finally, in fairness to myself who worked on the Title IX booklet and
> to OCR which had the lead responsibility for it, it is a booklet, not a
> book, it is a retrospective, not a history, it is very short, not
> article- or book-length and therefore limited, as you point out, but by
> the nature of what it is.
> ______________________________ Reply Separator
> Subject: Re: OCR and Title IX
> Author: at Internet
> Date: 5/1/98 8:58 AM
> But Jacquelyn, there was no discussion of what was done about the
> perpetrator (the perp, as the jargon in sexual assault circles goes); no
> discussion of how the school was handled; no discussion of monitoring
> the situation to make sure other children were not involved. There's no
> problem handling the indiviidual student's situation; I often recommend
> avoiding a perp, when the child can't handle the assault. But that is
> not the end of the story, and certainly it is a devastating admission of
> bankrupt policy and action for the federal government to present this as
> a fable of success for Title IX. It is rather a measure of just how
> poorly the OCR frames its national responsibilities to public policy and
> law. This is why private lawsuit based on Franklin v. Gwinnett has
> become the first line of defense for public equity.
> Linda Purrington
> Title IX Advocates
> >
> > Linda Purrington wrote:
> > "The following paragraph is excerpted from Title IX: 25 Years of
> > Progress
> > [sic] (Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, 1997).
> > It
> > troubles me that this is held out as an example of how success in
> > equity; do you have a similar reaction?:
> >
> > "Sexual Asaults and Threats in High School
> > In one school district, a disabled sophomore high school student was
> > sexually harassed by her male music teacher."
> >
> > Linda's questions about this case are right on target. I was involved with
> > writing this publication and many of us who worked on it raised the same
> > questions as Linda. I believe, however, that this example reflects the
> variety
> > of "solutions" required to incidents of this kind. Here, it was most likely
> > quicker to get the student out of the abusive setting than to change the
> setting
> > itself. The important immediate goal was to protect the student. Of course
> > that solution doesn't protect students (plural) for the long run. Once
> > there is always more than meets the eye and questions like Linda's help us
> > better, become more aware of levels of inquiry.
> >
> >
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