RE: Equity in policing and schools

Brown & Dempsey (
Tue, 26 May 1998 06:50:46 -0700


Law enforcement is not education but that goes without
saying. In an example somewhat closer to the my
pedagogical core I recently filed an equity complaint
with the Office for Civil Rights in a district which
"honestly" believed that 60/40 was equal. In the
current Student Interest Survey for the district there
are 140 girls who would like to play competitive
interscholastic football. This is a district where
several fully staffed and tax supported boys' football
teams are available yet none, zero, zilch are available
for girls.

While I do not disagree that equity is virtually
unavailable in any level of uniformed law enforcement I
have yet to do an equity field study in any school
district in any state where a female is listed as a
"football coach." I have found several districts where
fewer than 10% of those in AP Calculus are girls and in
others where no girl has ever been a finalist in the
Geography Bee. I have, however, found many states where
"Inequality is unconstitutional."

I prefer numeracy in education when I am discussing
education and numeracy in law enforcement when I am
dealing there. The environment in education, unlike that
in law enforcement, is that we can't even find a model
for change. We are, like the fable says, unable to see
the locks on our own doors. I have asked for the gender
equity procedures (not policies) and many districts
can't even tell me how I should proceed if I ask to
address the fact that 70% of the athletes in that school
district are male while half of the student body is
female. I have found almost no districts that will even
begin to define discrimination as unacceptable. Most
will only define "unlawful" discrimination as
unacceptable. In my particular state, while every school
district legally surrenders control and supervision of
the entire athletic program to the state athletic
association, the state athletic association "has not
taken an active role in either documenting, monitoring
or enforcing the Title IX/ equal opportunity compliance
of its member schools." Also in this state one of the
attorneys for OCR isn't sure his office can even accept
a complaint that names that same ubiquitous state
association as a responsible party. While I am working
to establish a foundation of equity, I can't even find
out how the process works.

Herb Dempsey

-----Original Message-----

The following article presents some evidence of why
equity is so hard to
achieve in society as a whole, and a major potential
focus of
education-for-equity efforts. When policing is
inequitable, enforcement
efforts are inequitable.

Let's translate that into the schools: If you have in
the larger
community no adequate enforcement of laws against
domestic violence, you
have that atmosphere reflected in the classroom. When
you have that
atmosphere reflected in the classroom, you have a
situation ripe for
ignoring potential school massacres such as have been
lined up across
all our newspapers this past spring.

The superintendent of the Springfield, Oregon, schools
said interests in
bombs, guns, animal mutilations, and murder were only
what might be
expected of boys.(see the New York Times online.) This
kind of
identification of violence with male roles needs to be
stopped in the

To stop this kind of steretyping of male roles in the
schools, we need
to make hiring of school superintendents and police in
the community
Linda Purrington
Title IX Advocates

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