Editorial: Title IX State Laws

Kaitlyn Cashdollar, Reporter

Title IX is a federal law that 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.”

Basically, it is just a fancy way of stating that there can be no discrimination in education on the basis of sex. It is important for all students to know their rights, and what their school is bound by law to do for them.

Title IX was created, only 294,000 high school girls participated in school sports. However, the tide has turned. Now, 3.1 million girls are participating in a school sponsored sport. This past school year at MSHS, out of the total amount of students enrolled in a sport, 52% of them were girls and 48% were boys. However, in the 2013-2014 school year, the percentage was 50% girls and 50% boys. So over the past two years, more girls have started participating in sports than boys.

Despite these gains, women are still underrepresented in many science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. Women make up 39% of chemists and material scientists, 28% of environmental scientists and geoscientists, 16% of chemical engineers and only 12% of civil engineers. However, more young girls are taking it upon themselves to get involved. According to the National Girls Collaborative Project, more girls are taking classes like pre-calc and advanced biology in high school than boys. Here at Manitou, 119 girls take at least one honors class, where as only 95 boys are taking honors classes.

As well as honors classes, many students take the Average Placement Tests. Over a five year average here at Manitou, 13 girls take the test, and 6 boys take it. Along with this, their average score for girls are 3.37. The average score for boys is 3.07.

Also, it has been recently reported that pregnant or parenting teens are not given the same education opportunities as other students. They are supposed be protected by Title IX as well, but in most states, that is not the case. According to Title IX, your school MUST: allow you to continue participating in classes and extracurricular activities (whether you have a doctors note or not), allow you to choose if you want to participate in special instruction programs or classes for pregnant students, and provide you reasonable adjustments (a bigger desk, elevator access, etc.).

As well as rights for girls, there has been a new found power to Title IX. In January, a teenage student who is transgender fought to use the girls locker room, and sparked a national debate. Neither the school (n)or the students name has been identified publicly. The student had said that the District 211 had violated Title IX.

Now, I don’t think that in 1972, when Title IX was created, that President Nixon was particularly interested in protecting the transgender community’s rights. In the present day, however, more and more transgender students are finding that Title IX can protect them as well. This could be a huge step for the LGBTQ+ community, and make many things easier for the students.

So this information prods the question: Why does Manitou have so many more girls participating in these activities then other schools? Manitou is advanced in this way by creating an atmosphere that nurtures the belief that girls are just as capable as boys. I, personally, am proud of my school for having equal opportunities for all genders.