A Meeting Of The Minds On Title IX

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When you think of Title IX most people you ask would associate the law with equal distribution of men’s and women high school and college athletics. Title IX requires fair treatment of all students regardless of lifestyle or life choices. The law states “no person in the United States shall on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any federal funded program.” When it comes to awareness and supports for Title IX, the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health (ICAH) has you covered.

ICAH recently held a town hall event, with the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance and Rape Victim Advocates, at the National Museum of Mexican Art addressing the law. From student support with gender and sexual orientation, pregnancy and parenting, and surviving sexual assault, the event was firing on all cylinders. The attendees ranged from educators and administrators to teens and program organizers. “I do have the potential to have an impact on these kids so I think it’s important that I get educated on more of these issues,” said Ruthie Charendoff, a sex ed instructor.

Student speakers covered the topic of pregnancy, discrimination, student rights and support. In addition to teen pregnancy rights, students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual (LGBTQQIA) are also afforded rights that were highlighted at the event. Medical appointments, sports participation, name changes, locker room use, gender and bathroom identity were all topics up for discussion. A group of students, also highlighted in this town hall, were survivors of sexual violence. Several youth supporters shared these students’ stories on stage and their experiences with school officials when it came to dealing with the effects of the abuse. Several more issues were addressed dealing with the topics of pregnant and parenting youth, LGTQQIA, and sexual violence survivors. Solutions that were suggested were relating to policy changes, awareness and accountability.

“In the interim our young people have created model policy that we want Chicago public schools to pass,” said Tiffany Pryor, ICAH Executive Director. Moving forward, ICAH plans to continue the fight for students through awareness and support. If you are a student or educator who wants to learn more about this fight, visit www.icah.org/title-ix for more details.

 

By Martin Horner

Twitter: @martinhorner1

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