The National Women's Law Center launched a new web site on Thursday celebrating the history of Title IX, the law that increased gender equality in collegiate sports and other areas, and called for action to defend the law against conservative attacks. The reason for the site:
Title IX has banned sex discrimination in schools since 1972. It's best known for breaking down barriers in sports for women and girls. It also opens the door for girls to pursue math and science. Itt requires fair treatment for pregnant and parenting students. It protects students from bullying and sexual harassment. And it does so much more. On its 40th birthday, we salute Title IX's victories and embrace the work ahead to realize its full promise.
The website includes a number of resources that help women understand their rights under Title IX and how the law works for them. It also offers people who were helped by the law a chance to share their story, like this one from Nancy R. Griffith, a retired teacher from Sacramento, California:
I graduated fron high school in 1967 and was one of those 12 girls who played every sport even though I wasn't the best athlete. But here are some pre Title IX memories: Having to play basketball where the guards and forward couldn't pass the mid-court line. (Girls were too delicate to play full court, don't you know.) Then an innovation: "rovers" who could run up and down the full court - but only 2 of them. Of course we had no uniforms, just our P.E. clothes and pinnies. Mind you this was in a big 2,000 student high school in an upper middle class area where the boys had uniforms for every team including JV and freshman teams. Boys teams travelled in school buses to games while our P.E. teachers took us in their own cars. The boys gym was big and the girls gym much smaller. Girls played basketball outside on the black top while boys played in their gym. Visiting boys teams got to use the girls locker room to change in - sometimes before checking to see if we were done using it! I grew up and became the mother of 3 girls who benefitted fron Title IX. They all played soccer as girls, two swam in high school, one fenced in college, one was on her university's Division I rowing team. Hooray for equality! (Or at least the beginning of it. One of my girl's high school soccer team had bargin jerseys that were too big for them.)
The site also features action alerts on issues related to Title IX and gender equality in higher education. The current featured action is an opportunity to help protect pregnant and parenting students:
The Pregnant and Parenting Students Access to Education Act is already pending in the House (H.R. 2617), but we need a Senator to step up to the plate and introduce it in the Senate. Will one of your Senators be the champion we are looking for?
Take action today by asking your Senators to become a lead sponsor of the Pregnant and Parenting Students Access to Education Act. Pregnant and parenting students have a lot on the line. They need to know that their Senators are supporting them.
The Pregnant and Parenting Students Access to Education Act (PPSAE) would provide a framework and resources to states and school districts to ensure that pregnant and parenting students have equal access to educational opportunities. It would enable states to create a plan for the education of pregnant and parenting students, provide professional development and technical assistance to school districts, coordinate services with other state agencies, and disseminate information, among other activities.
Contact your senator to support this act.