civil rights

civil rights

Prestigious High School Sued Over Gifted Program’s Underrepresentation of Blacks and Latinos

One of the most prestigious high schools in the US is being sued by the Coalition of the Silence, a minority advocacy group, and the NAACP for discrimination against black and Latino children. On July 23, 2012 the two organizations filed the federal civil rights lawsuit against Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology.

“Poor Latino kids are not being identified [for gifted programs], and I worry part of that is language,” said Martina Hone, a representative of the Collation of the Silence. “African-American kids are not being identified. I’m worried that’s race.”

In their lawsuit, the NAACP and the Coalition of the Silence claim that Fairfax County – where the school is located in Alexandria, VA – “essentially operates a network of separate and unequal schools [and] for decades, these students have been grossly and disproportionately underrepresented in admission to the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology.” Read the rest of this entry »



Carl Rowan Education Background

Civil rights activist and politician Carl Rowan

Civil rights activist and politician Carl Rowan

Carl Rowan was born in Ravenscroft, Tennessee on August 11, 1925. He grew up in the small town of McMinnville, Tennessee and graduated from Bernard High School in 1942 as the valedictorian.  He went on to attend Tennessee State University for one year and then Washburn University for one year.

Rowan was one of the first African-Americans to become a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy. He graduated from Oberlin College in 1947 and received a master’s degree in journalism at the University of Minnesota in 1948. He began his career in journalism writing for numerous African American newspapers in and around Minneapolis.

He went on to become a copywriter at The Minneapolis Tribune for two years and later became a staff writer, reporting exclusively on the Civil Rights Movement. Read the rest of this entry »



Constance McMillen Wins $35K from Homophobic School District

lesbian-teen-wins-35K

image via The AP

Constance McMillen, who has become a gay-rights poster child for wanting to take her girlfriend to prom, was awarded $35,000 from the Itawamba County School District, reports the Associated Press. The school district canceled its prom rather than allow a same-sex couple to attend the dance. The ACLU filed a discrimination lawsuit on the 18-year-old’s behalf, demanding reparations and that the prom be reinstated.

Although the judge would not force the high school to hold prom, he did rule that McMillen’s rights had been violated. As part of the agreement, the school also agreed to follow a new policy not to discriminate based on sexual orientation in any educational or extracurricular activities.

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Title IX Helps Keep Schools Equal

Image via: ACLU.org

Image via: ACLU.org

Title IX is often referred to when speaking about high school or college athletics. It’s part of the Education Amendments of 1972 and ironically, when it was originally written there was no mention of sports in the statute.

Title IX was renamed the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act in 2002 to honor the principal author of the act, Congresswoman Patsy Mink.

The official language of Title IX says “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

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