Esteemed Educator Dr. David Parrott Discusses the Evolution of Landmark Law Title IX — Programming Insider
How Title IX Was Originally Used
Explains Dr. David Parrott: “This is the 50th anniversary of the passage of Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972. And the statute articulates that no one who participates in a federally funded program should be discriminated against based on their sex. As with all federal statutes pertaining to education, regulations are written to interpret the statute and to provide guidance to federal fund recipients. To that end the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights provided regulations in 2020 that drive how we currently enforce that statute.
How Title IX Has Evolved Over the Years
He instructs: “The statute, implementing regulations and guidance really didn’t cover the educational sphere in terms of discrimination until 2011, when the Obama administration issued a ‘Dear Colleague Letter’ (DCL), which is general guidance; it doesn’t have the force of law like regulations, but it’s general guidance. It’s kind of, ‘you should do these things and if you don’t, we’re going to be really mad and we’re going to punish you if you don’t’, but it’s not law.”
There were more changes on the horizon.
“In 2016 the Trump administration rescinded the Obama administration ‘Dear Colleague Letter’. That’s the other problem with ‘Dear Colleague Letters,” Parrott continues. “Every time you change administrations, one administration can rescind the previous administration’s DCL’s. In 2017, the Trump administration put their ‘Dear Colleague Letter” in place, rescinding previous DCL’s. And between 2017 and 2020, the Trump administration engaged in the rigorous exercise of writing regulations and going through all of the steps to get those approved. They were approved and published in 2020 and we had 100 days to get in compliance. Every university scrambled to get in compliance with those 2,000 pages of regulations.”
Where Title IX Is Now
“The best analogy I can think of is a fast-running stream, because that’s what higher ed is, it’s fast, and it continually moves and impacts all that it touches” says Parrott. “And if you reach down to the bottom of that fast-running stream and pick up a handful of pebbles, they’re all smooth. Because they’ve shaped each other. That’s what the water does to the rocks — and the rocks do to each other. They get polished, they get smoothed, and they are transformed while keeping their fundamental properties. And that’s what higher education does. Higher Education is a lot of fast water shaping all of the people who are part of it.”
“The role of Title IX is to ensure that all have equal access to this shaping process that comes in the form of programs and activities of the university. Our role is to make sure that no one is denied the benefits of the program or activity based on sex.”
Originally published at https://programminginsider.com on April 6, 2022.