Gender Equity in Schools- Students Have Strong Protections


Last Updated on August 17, 2023 by Michelle Ball

By Michelle Ball, Sacramento California Expulsion, Special Education, sports/CIF, College, Education and School Attorney/Lawyer for Students since 1995

In California, students are supported in their right to equality regardless of gender. In fact, the California Education Code lists out various protections for students, so they are crystal clear.

Gender Equity Rights Apply in Schools

A students right to be free from sexual discrimination exists in all California public schools. Depending on the type of private school, rights may also exist.

The right to be free from discriminatory treatment based on gender and to insist on prevention extends to classrooms, school programs and clubs, sports, teachers and other school staff, and even to other students, who may treat a student differently based on their gender.

student rights to equality
Students cannot be discriminated against based on their gender

Student Rights List

One list of gender equity rights can be found in California Education Code 221.8.

All California students have the following gender equity rights, which reflect Title IX:

(a) You have the right to fair and equitable treatment and you shall not be discriminated against based on your sex.

(b) You have the right to be provided with an equitable opportunity to participate in all academic extracurricular activities, including athletics.

(c) You have the right to inquire of the athletic director of your school as to the athletic opportunities offered by the school.

(d) You have the right to apply for athletic scholarships.

(e) You have the right to receive equitable treatment and benefits in the provision of all of the following:

(1) Equipment and supplies.

(2) Scheduling of games and practices.

(3) Transportation and daily allowances.

(4) Access to tutoring.

(5) Coaching.

(6) Locker rooms.

(7) Practice and competitive facilities.

(8) Medical and training facilities and services.

(9) Publicity.

sex equity and gender discrimination in schools
Sex equity laws and rights exist to protect all students
in schools, male and female

(f) You have the right to have access to a gender equity coordinator to answer questions regarding gender equity laws.

(g) You have the right to contact the State Department of Education and the California Interscholastic Federation to access information on gender equity laws.

(h) You have the right to file a confidential discrimination complaint with the United States Office of Civil Rights or the State Department of Education if you believe you have been discriminated against or if you believe you have received unequal treatment on the basis of your sex.

(i) You have the right to pursue civil remedies if you have been discriminated against.

(j) You have the right to be protected against retaliation if you file a discrimination complaint.

Gender Discrimination Is Prohibited

If a student has experienced gender discrimination, they can file various complaints, including with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR). This is a pretty effective branch of the United States Department of Education, which can step in when trouble arises. OCR can correct a school, and help the student who has experienced gender or sex discrimination.

If a student experiences sexual harassment, they can also file a complaint under Title IX, which must be followed up on.

Student rights attorney Michelle Ball helps with school discrimination and retaliation issues, filing with OCR, and other entities. Located in Sacramento, California, Michelle can assist students and parents statewide, in Monterey, Bodega Bay, Alturas, Lodi, Roseville, Auburn, Modesto and many other locations.

Suggested additional reading: Private Space Must Be Provided To Breastfeeding Students