Aurelia Davis v. Monroe County, Georgia

Linda Purrington (
Thu, 07 Jan 1999 10:50:30 -0800

Dear Friends:
On Tuesday January 12, 1999, the National Women's Law Center and NOW
Legal Defense and Education Fund will present arguments before the U.S.
Supreme Court to support their claim that children have the right to get
an education in schools that actively work to stop and prevent peer
sexual harassment.
        These organizations and those who join them in an amicus brief
(presented by Horvitz & Levy LLP, David S. Ettinger, Mary-Christine
Sungaila, NOW LDEF, Martha F. Davis, Julie Goldscheid, and Yolanda Wu)
maintain that students have that right under Title IX of the Education
Amendments of 1972.
        This last week the Second Court of Appeals denied Eve Bruneau the right
to seek redress for peer sexual harassment under Section 1983, which
forbids states to enforce laws that contradict federal laws in the same
arena. The Second Court of Appeals said Eve's only recourse was Title
        An important aspect of these cases is the fact that 20 percent of
sexcual harassment cases in schools is adult to child. Moreover, the
AAUW noted that all the reported cases took place in public places in
the school: where adults were supervising. This is also true of Eve
Bruneau, whose teacher helped build the hostile environment she faced.
It was also true in Petaluma I, where a teacher declined to help a
student who was daily being assaulted at the back of his class.
        Sexual harassment is the mechanism by which this society molds the
behavior of our daughters--and sons in public schools. To look forward
to equality of women leaders with men leaders in the next millennium, we
must first provide our children with schools in which this harassment is
        Please take a moment to do something today to increase your
understanding of Title IX and these landmark cases, and to pass on this
information to others. Perhaps we could also publicly thank the women's
organizations who are carrying the burden of this legal battle.
        Linda Purrington
Title IX Advocates

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