Equality In Education: A Review Of Grove City College V. Bell And Title Ix

1317 words - 6 pages

Civil rights is a topic which is on everyone’s tongues a majority of the time. Back in the 1950s and 1960s, the spotlight was on racial equality. In the 1970s and 1980s, it was gender equality that dominated the stage. In the modern day, it has shifted to same-sex rights. There is always a battle to live up to what America’s forefathers had dreamed of for this country: total equality in society. While it is an uphill battle more often than not, those who push for equality gain enough momentum to succeed in an ever-changing world. The long fight against gender discrimination in the education system is highlighted by the important case in Grove City College v Bell, the effects of the verdict ...view middle of the document...

Bell”). The court found that Title IX only prohibited discrimination in programs that were federally funded, allowing institutions to freely discriminate where they do not receive such funding (“Gender”). In addition, the court also found that prohibiting gender discrimination as a prerequisite for federal funding did not infringe on Grove City College’s first amendment rights (“Grove”). The court also allowed Grove City to freely end its participation in the BEOG program to maintain its autonomy (“Grove”).
The ruling of Grove City College v Bell caused turmoil in the education system for the next three years. It impeded the further growth of Title IX and made it difficult for people who suffered from gender discrimination to fight back (“Gender”). Between 1984 and 1987, fourteen civil rights cases involving sex discrimination were affected negatively or dismissed entirely as a direct result of the court decision (Greenberger, Marcia D., and C.A. Beier.) . In addition, the Office of Civil Rights, created by the Department of Education to enforce Title IX, was forced to suspend 63 claims of sexual discrimination solely because the institution received no federal funding in the accused departments (“Title”; Greenberger and Beier). The ruling also prevented any investigation of claims and the courts could not decide whether or not the program was discriminating if it received no federal funding (Greenberger and Beier). This all amounted to the simple fact that any institution was now free to discriminate in any privately funded program however they pleased (Greenberger and Beier).
The turmoil would end in 1987 with the passing of the Civil Rights Restoration Act in Congress. The passing of this law was made unique with how the events just before it transpired. The Act was drafted by Congress as a direct result of the Grove City College v Bell decision (“Reagan Vetoes Civil Rights Bill”). It was designed to bring four different laws back into an effective state: Title IX, Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Sec. 505 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, and the 1975 Age Discrimination Act (“Civil Rights Veto Overridden”). President Ronald Reagan was quoted in the Chicago Tribune, saying the bill would “vastly and unjustifiably extend the power of the federal government over the decisions and affairs of private organizations.” (“Reagan”). The veto quickly became a widely unpopular decision in Congress, with multiple Senators and Representatives voicing their disapproval (“Reagan”). The Justice Department had backed Reagan’s decision, reasoning that the bill was a serious intrusion into institutions’ privacy (Reagan”). Congress unanimously voted to pass the bill in the initial vote, with a vote of 75-14 in the Senate and 315-28 in the House of Representatives (“Reagan”). Reagan vetoed the bill after several attempts to amend limitations to it were promptly shot down by Congress (“Reagan”). In response to Reagan’s veto...

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