Gender discrimination comes in many forms, and one way we combat inequity is by enforcing Title IX, the 1972 law that prohibits educational institutions from discriminating based on sex. CWLC is a leading expert in Title IX enforcement, and we focus on three ways this law protects the rights of girls and women: athletic opportunities, the treatment of pregnant and parenting students and employees, and campus sexual assault and harassment.
Title IX is most known for ensuring that girls have access to athletic opportunities. Despite this legal guarantee, many female students still do not have equal access to sports. CWLC serves as an expert resource for girls, parents, coaches, school officials, and policymakers who want to ensure girls get their fair chance to play. We provide technical assistance to support compliance efforts and when necessary, we litigate. We have successfully litigated several Title IX athletics claims, including Ollier v. Sweetwater Union High School District. CWLC is one of a few organizations focused on equity at the K-12 level, and we train legal professionals and community leaders– including local Parks and Recreations Departments– on effectively implementing Title IX.
Title IX protects pregnant and parenting students from discrimination. However, many young women who become pregnant are routinely stigmatized, marginalized, and coerced into dropping out of class and attending substandard schools. CWLC trains school leaders and legal advocates throughout California on the educational rights of pregnant and parenting students, including their right to stay in school, participate in all extra-curricular activities, and have access to adequate breastfeeding accommodations. We support pregnant and parenting students by working directly with school administrators on the implementation of reasonable accommodations, advocating for state policies that protect their civil rights, and litigating when necessary. Working with our community partners, CWLC launched a multi-year initiative called the ABC’s of Breastfeeding, which grades California school districts, holding them accountable, and supporting their compliance efforts.
Title IX states that all students should have access to a fair and equal education but sexual violence has become an epidemic on college campuses, depriving female students of this right. Too often, schools ignore this pervasive injustice and young women are unable to learn in a safe environment. There is a small but growing body of case law that affirms schools’ responsibility to address this issue under Title IX. CWLC delivers trainings to students, educators, and attorneys across California to help them better understand Title IX’s role in combating campus sexual assault and harassment. CWLC also addresses violence against women that happens off-campus and to non-students, particularly intimate partner violence.