Re: call for research

Linda Purrington (
Tue, 05 May 1998 14:21:58 -0700

Susan McKevitt, I am reading through your post again, feeling badly that
my anger sometimes hurts the feelings and professional self-respect of
people such as yourself and Jacquelyn Zimmerman I can see are competent,
fair, individual professionals enmeshed in systems they did not build.
The experience of parents and students is often so disparate with your
experience! Take a look at Mark Pitsch's detailed description of the
Mary De Rosa case in Millis, MA, in Education Week--that is what it
looks like to us.
Perhaps one of the things we should be looking at is not how many
pieces of literature were sent to be handed out at parent groups (I have
found stacks of the stuff in wastebaskets--before the meeting), but at
the possibility of using surveys not only to get some knowledge about
who knows what, but also to educate. We should be asking parents, What
do you know about Title IX? We should be asking students if they
understand their rights. And the instrument used to assess that civil
rights knowledge should be used to simultaneously educate the community.
Title IX knowledge needs to bypass the schools and go directly into the
hands of the consumers.
Linda Purrington
Title IX 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.

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