Title IX as a policy was primarily developed with the bigger picture of issues that are related to gender in mind. It was fundamentally meant to bring a sense of balance when dealing with the gender agenda in learning institutions. Some of the ideas through which we will navigate are: has the balance that Title IX sought to bring about been achieved? What are the challenges that the law faces? Is it important to amend or re-look at the law from time to time to take care of emerging trends? We will also look at. Looking at all these issues may lead us to a conclusion of whether the law ways, or still is, important in our times.
Title IX Implementation- The basics
From a deeper look at the provisions of the law, Title IX tends to develop from the most basic issues that relate to access to institutional facilities for both genders, to a little bit complex issues like sexual harassment. To effectively apply the law, all these phases must be understood. Like any other law, Title IX doesn’t operate in a vacuum and therefore all other factors that may influence the application and the outcome of the law must be put into consideration (Walters & McNeel, 2010).
However, some mechanisms can be put in place to assist in proactively achieving what the law intends to, as far as creating gender harmony is concerned. We can now look at some of these mechanisms and how they may affect or contribute to the effective application of Title IX.
In recognition of the fact that policy implementation of laws of this nature can be challenging, the law has been keen on emphasizing that there shall be a person designated to oversee its implementation in every institution that is federally funded. This, therefore, means that the individual must be well versed with the law if he or she is to be its keeper. Given that issues of gender equality are clearly outlined in the law this individual is expected to rest at no less than the applicability of the law in totality at that particular education centre (Kuznick &Ryan, 2008).
The purpose of the law is to ensure that a certain order of things is observed. By monitoring how the requirements of Title IX are being effected in institutions, it becomes easy to highlight areas where the law may not be achieving the standards as required therein. If a particular activity tends to exclude or lay more emphasis on one gender than the other, the monitoring mechanism can point out promptly thus avoiding extreme extents, like have been witnessed, which may engage the institution in legal battles. Where a monitoring system of Title IX is in place, chances of there being legal tussles are reduced.
There must be intensive and deliberate communication to all stakeholders to enlighten them on the demands of the law. A critical instrument in the implementation of any law is its understanding. Gender issues as stipulated by Title IX can be effectively dealt with if all the participants in the education program understand its context, contents and demand. This may thus see the creation of forums, such as workshops and seminars, which will seek to guide the school community on Title IX from time to time. They may be conducted either jointly or separately for the students and staff as the situation may allow. The bottom line is that there should be periodical reminders of the requirements of Title IX if the law is to achieve its intended objective. The main aim of these forums should be to ensure that all stakeholders are equipped to guard and apply the gender equity requirements of the law.
Reading through the law, it becomes clear that there are implications that result from failure to apply it accordingly. Over the years there has been an increase in court cases that emerge from the purported failure of education centres to apply the law as it should be. From one perspective, these legal implications have to be applied to ensure that Title IX s rightly applied. We all know that breaking the law is sometimes easier than upholding it. With checks and balances.it becomes easier to follow it. All the same, the context within which it is applied must be objectively looked into to eliminate the danger of including undeserving stakeholders (Sandler, 2000). For instance, if there are allegations of exchange of sexual favours for better grades, these allegations must be thoroughly investigated and proven beyond reasonable doubts. The result of the whole process of investigating and prosecuting necessarily will allow others to look at their role in applying Title IX.
Title IX and the practitioner
Having looked at some of how application of Title IX can be enhanced, we may say that there will be a collection of other factors that will contribute, influence and even determine its effectiveness both in an application and as a law, or what we may call the challenges of its application and applicability.
First, there is the will of the stakeholders to uphold the law. The existence of a law in writing or any other form doesn’t necessarily guarantee its religious observance. After giving the law to the people, they more often than not determine the course it takes by the precedents they set. Because of this therefore the effectiveness of title IX to maintain gender equity in institutions will largely be dependent on the practitioner to observe it (Rapparport, 2011).
For instance, if in case an institution’s administrative organ is adamant to observing gender equity and the records that show the imbalances are deliberately confined by the system while at the same time portraying an outer picture of great achievements in the application of Title IX, it will require much more to establish where the disparities are. Therefore, besides the requirements of the law, there has to be an internal drive to apply it. This then leads us to the role of the practitioner in enhancing the law as well as giving recommendations and suggestions.
Title IX is a law that directly impacts public institutions and is therefore open to public debate almost at all times. At the epicentre of its effective implementation is the person who may be an administrator, employee or student who acts within the environment where the law is largely applicable. In this regard, the people’s views, feelings, observations must be given preference in making amendments or improvements to the law. This can only be done through having open discussions and an accommodating environment that will take into consideration their suggestions (Eckes & Toutkoushian, 2006). A good example would be the suggestion made by athletics directors stating that by eliminating men’s non-revenue programs they may be able to cater for their budget in a better way.
Eckes, S., & Toutkoushian, R. K. (2006). Legal issues and statistical approaches to reverse pay discrimination in higher education. Research in Higher Education,
Kuznick, L., & Ryan, M. (2008). Changing social norms? Title IX and legal activism comments from spring 2007. Harvard Journal of Law & Gender, 31(2), 367-422.
Rapp port, E. (2011). Title IX: the law and its practice.
Sandler, B. R. (2000). Too strong for a woman’–the five words that created title IX. Equity & Excellence in Education, 33(1), 9.
Walters, J., & McNeely, C. L. (2010). Recasting title IX: Addressing gender equity in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics professoriate. Review of Policy Research, 27(3), 317-332. doi:10.1111/j.1541-1338.2010.00444.x