Skip to comments.Retaliation, Bias Are Alleged in Ala. Case - Court Weighs Suit Of School Coach
Posted on 11/30/2004 11:47:54 PM PST by Former Military Chick
As head coach of girls' basketball at Ensley High School in Birmingham, Roderick Jackson felt that his squad had less access to the gym and training equipment than the boys' team did.
He thought that might violate Title IX, the landmark 1972 federal law barring gender discrimination at federally funded educational institutions, and he told school administrators.
In May 2001, he was informed that his services as coach were no longer required.
Now, the question before the Supreme Court is whether that alleged retaliation makes Jackson a victim of illegal gender discrimination under Title IX, with the same right to sue as any girl on the team would have.
Yesterday, the court heard oral arguments in the case, which women's rights advocates are calling one of the most significant Supreme Court tests for Title IX since its enactment.
Jackson is supported by the Bush administration, which told the court in a brief that "[e]ffective protection against retaliation is indispensable to the achievement of Congress's nondiscrimination goals."
But the Birmingham school board objected that Title IX has no explicit provision creating a right to sue over retaliation. Thus, the board argued, the only lawful way for Jackson to hold school authorities accountable is to complain to the Department of Education in Washington, which can cut off the flow of federal money to Title IX violators.
"He should make the toll-free call to the Office of Civil Rights, because the ultimate beneficiary . . . is the basketball team. Damages or injunctive relief [from a lawsuit] go only to him," school board attorney Kenneth L. Thomas told the justices.
The board's case relies heavily on a 2001 Supreme Court decision that set tighter conditions for interpreting statutes to give individuals a right to sue.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
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