Bridging Theory and Practice: Law Students Advocate for Women Athletes

Applying knowledge about Title IX to make change

Gender and the Law is one of my favorite courses to teach, but this year’s class has set the bar exceedingly high for years to come. These students have taken what they  learned in the course and chosen to apply it to advocate for women athletes on UC’s campus.  When they found out that during renovation of Fifth Third Arena, the men’s basketball team would play at Northern Kentucky University’s comparable venue but the women would be sent to play at a local high school, they wanted to take action.   Continue reading “Bridging Theory and Practice: Law Students Advocate for Women Athletes”

Bathrooms, not Broom Closets: Title IX, Gavin Grimm, and Trans Students’ Rights

Title IX’s ban on sex discrimination is broad enough to cover transgender students.

Gavin Grimm’s senior year in high school will be more memorable than most—how many young people are at the heart of Supreme Court litigation regarding the rights of transgender students?

Last year, when he and his mom told Gloucester High School officials about his transition, they agreed to treat him like the boy Gavin always knew he was.  But upon getting wind of the situation, the School Board objected.  At meetings on the issue, some folks referred to Gavin as a girl or “young lady.”  Others went further, for example, calling him a freak. Another likened the young man to a person who believes he’s a dog “and wants to urinate on fire hydrants.”  Ultimately, the board voted to prohibit Gavin from using the boys’ room and required the school to provide unisex bathrooms for him, which Metro Weekly reported were repurposed broom closets.    Continue reading “Bathrooms, not Broom Closets: Title IX, Gavin Grimm, and Trans Students’ Rights”

Five Myths that Block Effective Strategies Targeting Sexual Assault on College Campuses

fatima-goss-graves-200-x-200Guest Contributor:  Fatima Goss Graves, Senior Vice President for Program, National Women’s Law Center

Students around the country have already begun pouring back onto college campuses, ready to embark on a new academic year. This year many students will return to find their schools under investigation by the Department of Education for failing to effectively address sexual violence on campus.  Title IX’s nearly 45-year-old ban on sex discrimination in education requires schools that take federal dollars –virtually all schools – to take prompt and effective steps to address harassment and violence. With over 200 universities facing pending complaints, the problem of sexual assault finally has caught the attention of the very policymakers and educators who can make a difference.

But efforts to transform the response to sexual assault will fail if focused on the wrong solutions. Here are five myths that can prevent meaningful approaches to combatting sexual assault on college campuses. Continue reading “Five Myths that Block Effective Strategies Targeting Sexual Assault on College Campuses”

Turning Challenges into Opportunities: Addressing Sexual Assault on Campuses

The new focus on sexual assault is an opportunity to make real change on campus.

557b8ee85d17a-imageGuest Contributor:  Ellen Eardley, University of Missouri
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Civil Rights and Title IX; Title IX Administrator; Cincinnati Law (’03)

Now more than ever, colleges and universities face new challenges addressing campus sexual assault.

Recently, and not without controversy, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 has been used to address sexual violence – an extreme form of sex discrimination.  The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has made clear that Title IX requires schools to have policies and procedures for responding to sexual violence. This requires careful attention to the rights and needs of students, faculty, and staff who experience and who are accused of sexual violence.

Some commentators have suggested that OCR has asked higher education to undertake a burdensome, and potentially impossible, balancing act. But rather than a burden, these guidelines present an opportunity to make meaningful shifts in addressing and preventing sexual violence.  Continue reading “Turning Challenges into Opportunities: Addressing Sexual Assault on Campuses”