Fighting For Important Causes In State And Federal Courts
Congress enacted Title IX in order to compel fairness and equality in schools. Before the passage of Title IX, no laws prohibited discrimination in schools. It’s hard to think of a time when women could be excluded from teams in sports when there was no law prohibiting harassment on the basis of gender, and when harassing students who didn’t conform to gender stereotypes was considered an accepted cultural custom. A lot has changed due to the evolving nature in the application of Title IX. There is abundant proof that gender equality is good for society. It’s widely accepted that everyone benefits from gender equality and that gender equality promotes economic growth. In spite of all this progress, there is still much ground to cover. Gender discrimination and sexual harassment continue to haunt education. Nearly two-thirds of college students experience sexual harassment. Between 1 in 4 and 1 in 3 U.S. students say they have been bullied at school.
Gender discrimination covers various forms of discriminatory behavior including sexual harassment, exclusion on the basis of gender, unequal allocation of federal assistance, among other types of conduct causing discrimination and inequality. If you or your son or daughter or a loved one is a student experiencing gender discrimination, filing a Title IX complaint may be appropriate. Attorneys in the Shubin Law Office are empathetic and dedicated to fighting for the constitutional rights of their clients. Attorney Andrew Shubin is highly respected for his relentless commitment to fighting for the rights of victims of unconstitutional gender discrimination in educational settings nationwide. Call (814) 867-3115 to schedule a free consultation.
A Breakdown of Title IX Laws
Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 states that:
“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or a subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
Every academic institution is required to designate a Title IX coordinator, develop complaint procedures, and adopt a non-discrimination policy, all of which must be publicized. The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is a sub-agency of the U.S. Department of Education that is primarily focused on enforcing civil rights laws. Examples of areas Title IX compels schools to treat all students equally include:
- Educational and sports programs (regular and extracurricular)
- Distribution of grants, scholarships, and federal assistance
- Career and technical education programs as well as STEM education
- Limits to single-sex education programs that separate boys and girls based on gender stereotypes
- Protections to students from being denied enrollment or excluded from school-based activities due to pregnancy or parenting status
- The implementation of meaningful programs to address sexual harassment
Who Does Title IX Protect?
Title IX is a gender-neutral law that seeks to eliminate gender discrimination. The mechanics of this law are not intended to protect one specific gender or sexual orientation over another. The focus is typically on whether the inner-workings of the school policies, programs, or distribution of funds at issue discriminate unfairly. For example, in a recent decision, the OCR found that Tulane University violated Title IX in having female-only scholarships.
Under the current legal standard promulgated in the US Supreme Court decision of Jackson v. Birmingham Board of Education Title IX is applied liberally to all victims of gender discrimination. It’s clear that Title IX evolves over time. The implementation and enforcement of policies prohibiting gender discrimination are intended to be the focus of Title IX. If you are concerned about a policy implemented in your son’s school that appear patently discriminatory, or if a program (regular or extracurricular) benefits a particular group more than others, talk to an experienced gender discrimination attorney before speculating. The complexities of Title IX make it one of the most misunderstood and debated laws. There is a lot of misinformation online funded by special interest groups.
Pervasive Bullying and Name Calling as a Violation of Title IX
Sexual harassment is generally a violation of civil rights. But it may not be a violation of Title IX if the harassment focuses on sexual orientation. This is generally the rule unless the harassment includes gender-stereotyping and/or advances of a sexual nature. The harassment must be severe and pervasive and not merely amount to “name-calling.”
However, there are different levels of intensity of “name-calling,” and there are instances when school officials and teachers are indifferent in spite of knowing well that students target an LGBTQ or disabled peers and pervasively harass them. When students commit suicide or try to harm themselves or others due to bullying begs the question as to whether the conduct amounts to a Title IX violation. A skilled Title IX attorney is prepared to look at this question with his professional insight. Pervasive bullying and name calling can meet the criteria needed to bring a successful Title IX complaint as well as a lawsuit for other civil rights violations. A dedicated Title IX attorney will be able to guide you as to the best course of action and if there is a basis to pursue a legal claim.
Harassment for Gender Stereotypes or Gender Non-Conformity
A Title IX violation occurs when harassment over sexual orientation student involves sexual conduct and misconceived stereotypes held by peers. This behavior violates Title IX when the harassment is based upon gender nonconformity. The difficulty of proving that harassment of LGBTQ students is a subject of debate among legal scholars. Some argue that federal courts must expand the prohibitions of Title IX to include protection against sexual harassment, irrespective of whether it involves gender stereotyping. Scholarly debates tend to signal issues that courts may try to answer. Therefore, transgender and LGBTQ students facing gender discrimination nationwide should seek a consultation with experienced counsel if they are facing unfair and irritating or hurtful conduct on the basis of their sexual orientation.
Call Nationwide Attorney for Gender Discrimination of Students Andrew Shubin
The highly accomplished team of lawyers working at the Law Office of Andrew Shubin stands ready to represent students experiencing gender discrimination nationwide. Call us at (814) 867-3115 to schedule a consultation.