Title IX: It's More Than Sports Timeline

 

Title IX, the federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, including on the basis of sex stereotypes in education programs and activities that utilize federal funds, turns 40 on June 23, 2012. Take a look at some of the milestones that have shaped this historic law. Click on each date for more information.

Learn more about Title IX and Gender Equity in Education »

    1970

    • First congressional hearings on sex discrimination in education

      At the recommendation of Bernice Sandler, a university professor who had faced discrimination in hiring, Rep. Edith Green (D-Ore.) and Rep. Patsy Mink (D-Hawaii) hold the first congressional hearings on sex discrimination in education, leading to introduction of Title IX, which was sponsored by Senator Birch Bayh in the Senate.

    Jun 23 1972

    • Congress enacts Title IX

      Congress enacts Title IX, which is signed by President Nixon. It states, "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance..." All federal agencies are required to issue regulations to satisfy the statute.

    May 20 1974

    • Amendment proposed to exempt revenue-producing sports

      Senator John Tower introduces an amendment to exempt revenue-producing sports (football, basketball, etc.) from being considered when determining Title IX compliance. Amendment rejected.

    Jul 1 1974

    • Amendment proposed to create "reasonable provisions considering the nature of particular sports."

      Following the rejection of the Tower Amendment, Senator Jacob Javits proposes an amendment to require the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) (the predecessor to the current Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Education), to issue Title IX regulation that offered "reasonable provisions considering the nature of particular sports." Doing so affirmed that all sports were subject to Title IX, but also recognized that sports differ in a host of areas, including equipment costs, injury rates, and facilities used. The Javits Amendment ensures that if needs are met equivalently for both men's and women's sports, differences in particular components may be justified.

    Jul 21 1975

    • Title IX regulations circulated by HEW related to non-discrimination in education programs become effective

      Title IX regulations circulated by HEW related to non-discrimination in education programs become effective as law following Congressional review. Elementary schools have one year to come into compliance, secondary schools and colleges must be compliant within three years.

    1977

    • Alexander v. Yale University

      Alexander v. Yale University. Title IX is used for the first time for charges of quid pro quo sexual harassment against an educational institution. The women did not win their case, but the district court did hold that sexual harassment qualified as sex discrimination and was therefore covered under Title IX. The ACLU filed an amicus brief on appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which upheld the district court's ruling.

    1979

    • Cannon v. University of Chicago

      Cannon v. University of Chicago. The United States Supreme Court rules that individuals can sue under Title IX, even though this is not explicitly stated in the law. As a result, federal enforcement leading to potential termination of federal funds was no longer the only legal remedy under Title IX.

    1980

    • Department of Education established, and oversight of programs funded

      Department of Education established, and oversight of programs funded by the Department is transferred to the new Office for Civil Rights.

    1982

    1984

    • Grove City v. Bell

      Grove City v. Bell. The Supreme Court rules that Title IX applies to private schools in which a large number of students are on financial aid. However, this decision also limits Title IX by deciding that only departments that receive federal funding are required to comply, not educational institutions as a whole. This decision, which significantly erodes Title IX enforcement, is later corrected by Congress in 1988.

    1986

    • Moire v. Temple University School of Medicine

      Moire v. Temple University School of Medicine. The District Court applies sexual harassment standards used in cases brought under Title VII (the federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in employment), such as disparate treatment, retaliation, and hostile work environment. This suggests that the courts will continue to decide claims of sexual harassment brought by students under Title IX using reasoning similar to that established in Title VII cases.

    Mar 22 1988

    • Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987 becomes law after Congress overrides President Reagan's veto

      Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987 becomes law after Congress overrides President Reagan's veto. The law overrules the Grove City decision and specifies that all educational institutions that receive any type of Federal financial assistance are required to comply with Title IX, regardless of whether the funds support a particular program or sub-unit within the institution.

    1992

    • Franklin v. Gwinnett County Public Schools

      Franklin v. Gwinnett County Public Schools. The Supreme Court holds that Title IX supports a claim for monetary damages. In this case the high school student seeking damages claims she was sexually harassed and abused by her teacher and coach and that administrators were aware of the harassment and abuse, but took no action to stop it and encouraged her not to press charges against the teacher.

    Nov 1 1996

    • Cohen v. Brown University

      Cohen v. Brown University. The Court of Appeals for the First Circuit upholds the use of the Three-Prong Effective Accommodation Test for Title IX compliance. Schools must either show athletic opportunities that are proportionate with male and female enrollment levels, show a history of increasing options for the underrepresented sex, or show that they are fulfilling the interest and ability of the underrepresented sex. Brown had planned to demote the women's gymnastics and volleyball teams, citing funding concerns. After members of the women's teams win their case in the First Circuit, the Supreme Court denies Brown's petition for cert.

    1996

    • Doe v. Petaluma Unified School District

      Doe v. Petaluma Unified School District. First case to recognize Title IX's applicability to cases of student-on-student sexual harassment. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit's decision sets liability standards for Title IX harassment cases.

    1998

    • Gebser v. Lago Vista Independent School District

      Gebser v. Lago Vista Independent School District. The Supreme Court makes clear the circumstances under which schools are liable for damages when a teacher sexually harasses a student. The Court holds that under Title IX, a school is liable for damages when a school official with knowledge of the teacher's harassment and authority to take corrective action acts with "'deliberate indifference" to the teacher's conduct.

    Oct 22 1999

    • Chipman v. Grant County School District.

      Chipman v. Grant County School District. The ACLU settles a case on behalf of two teen mothers who were denied membership to the National Honor Society because of their parental status. The ACLU asserted that, in violation of Title IX, female students were judged by more stringent standards since males can't get pregnant, which provides visible proof of sexual activity.

    1999

    • Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education

      Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education. The Supreme Court rules that a school district may be liable under Title IX for a student-on-student harassment, if it is aware of the problem and acts with "deliberate indifference" rather than try to resolve it. The ACLU Women's Rights Project participates as amicus.

    Aug 30 2000

    • The Department of Justice issues a 'common rule,' to cover educational programs like police academies and vocational programs for inmates.

      The Department of Justice issues a 'common rule,' a Title IX regulation for programs operated by agencies that had not yet issued regulations under Title IX. The common rule covers educational programs like police academies and vocational programs for inmates.

    Nov 20 2003

    • Bellum v. Grants Pass

      Bellum v. Grants Pass. The ACLU enters into an agreement with the city of Grants Pass which gives a girls' community softball league equal access to fields. The case was filed on behalf of a group of girls ages 8-18 after the city dedicated two high-quality fields to the exclusive use of two boys' baseball leagues, forcing the girls to share remaining playing fields with all the teams in the city's Little League, as well as with the local high school's varsity softball teams and community adult leagues.

    Mar 29 2005

    • Jackson v. Birmingham Board of Education

      Jackson v. Birmingham Board of Education. The Supreme Court holds that Title IX allows an individual to bring a retaliation claim in court when he or she is disciplined for complaining about sex discrimination. Such retaliation, the Court held, is a form of intentional sex discrimination forbidden by the statute. The case is brought by Roderick Jackson, a teacher and girls' basketball coach in an Alabama public high school, who complained about sex discrimination in the school's athletic program and was later removed from his coaching position. The ACLU Women's Rights Project authors an amicus brief in the case.

    Oct 15 2005

    • Cecilia G. v. Antelope Valley Union High School District

      Cecilia G. v. Antelope Valley Union High School District. The ACLU of Southern California settles a case against a school district that was shunting pregnant and parenting students out of mainstream schools and into "pregnancy schools" that offered a substandard education, threatening the girls with loss of state-funded support programs if they remained enrolled fulltime in their regular school courses.

    Aug 3 2006

    • Selden v. Livingston Parish School Board

      Selden v. Livingston Parish School Board. The ACLU settles a case of behalf of eighth-grader Michelle Selden in a challenge to the school district's plan to offer only sex segregated classes at Southside Junior High School and to provide different classroom instruction to boys and girls that reflected overbroad stereotypes and generalizations about differences between genders. For instance, while girls were to be taught "good character," boys were to be taught about "heroic" behavior and what it means to be a man.

    Oct 25 2006

    • U.S. Department of Education rescinds longstanding regulations prohibiting single-sex classes within coeducational schools...

      U.S. Department of Education rescinds longstanding regulations prohibiting single-sex classes within coeducational schools, and promulgates new regulations that relax the requirements for implementing such programs. The ACLU opposes these regulations. In the wake of this new regulation, the number of coeducational schools implementing single-sex classes multiplies exponentially.

    2009

    • Fitzgerald v. Barnstable School Committee

      Fitzgerald v. Barnstable School Committee. The Supreme Court rules that parents may sue for sex discrimination in schools under both Title IX and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The case, which was brought by parents whose kindergartener was sexually harassed on the school bus, is important in establishing that individual teachers and administrators, as well as institutions, may be liable for sex discrimination in education. The ACLU participates as amicus.

    2010

    • Mansourian v. Regents of CA

      Mansourian v. Regents of CA. Female wrestlers win the chance to go to trial in their challenge to U.C. Davis' action of cutting them from the previously coed wrestling team and then instituting fitness tests that required them to meet standards geared towards male athletes. The ACLU authored an amicus brief in the appeal. In August, 2011, the court found that the University hadn't provided equal athletic opportunity to female athletes, but that the University administrators who were individual defendants could not be held liable for deliberately discriminating against the plaintiffs.

    Oct 13 2011

    • Doe v. Vermilion Parish School Board

      Doe v. Vermilion Parish School Board. The ACLU Women's Rights Project, in conjunction with the ACLU of Louisiana, settles a case challenging sex segregation of a public middle school in Kaplan, Louisiana after the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issues a favorable ruling. The case, filed on behalf of two students who were placed into all-girls classes without parental consent at the outset of the 2009-10 school year, alleged that the program was based on flawed data, relied heavily on gender stereotypes and had no positive effect on academic performance. As a part of the settlement, Vermilion Parish School Board agrees to cease all sex-segregated classes through at least the 2016-17 school year.

    Current

    • Biediger v. Quinnipiac University.

      Biediger v. Quinnipiac University. The ACLU of Connecticut files suit and moved to enjoin Quinnipiac University from eliminating its women's volleyball team, putting it out of compliance with Title IX. Though the University has a female enrollment around 62 percent, female athletic participation is only 50 percent. The case is currently on appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The ACLU Women's Rights Project joined as co-counsel on the appeal.
  • 1970
  • Jun 23 1972
  • May 20 1974
  • Jul 1 1974
  • Jul 21 1975
  • 1977
  • 1979
  • 1980
  • 1982
  • 1984
  • 1986
  • Mar 22 1988
  • 1992
  • Nov 1 1996
  • 1996
  • 1998
  • Oct 22 1999
  • 1999
  • Aug 30 2000
  • Nov 20 2003
  • Mar 29 2005
  • Oct 15 2005
  • Aug 3 2006
  • Oct 25 2006
  • 2009
  • 2010
  • Oct 13 2011
  • Current
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