U.S. Supreme Court Applies Sex Bias Law to Schools
by James L. Morrison

[Note: This is a re-formatted manuscript that was originally published in On the Horizon, 1992, Summer, 3. It is posted here with permission from Jossey Bass Publishers.]

A surprising, unanimous, February 26th (1992) Supreme Court ruling could set in motion untold numbers of law suits by women and girls who claim that they have been victims of gender bias in school programs--including athletics. This decision follows the 1972, Title IX law that bars gender discrimination at any education program that receives federal aid. This ruling means that bias victims, including female football players and male cheerleaders, can bring suit against institutions for unlimited monetary damages, rather than just call for a change in biased behaviors. This decision is contrary to the Bush administration position, which contends that the law does not permit monetary damages.(USA Today, 2/27/92)


Lawsuits charging gender, race, or religious discrimination against institutions for monetary damages add a new dimension to an increasing litigious society. Colleges and universities will have to go beyond equal opportunity hiring and team building to be prepared to pay damages to any individual who can prove a case of bias. Increased legal fees, damage awards, and liability insurance could prove to be quite costly for institutions of higher education in the future.

Bibliographic citation for the paper copy of this article:

"U.S. Supreme Court Applies Sex Bias Law To Schools." On the Horizon, 1992, Summer, 9.

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