Written in 1972, Title IX is a groundbreaking law that began an era of progress for women and girls, but more work is needed. This is the position of American Association of University Women, and it was further explained to Tehachapi Mountain Branch by Dr. Marian Stephens at the October general meeting. Branch meetings are currently being held on Zoom.

Dr. Stephens focused on the portion of the law that prohibits sex discrimination in education. It covers men, women, boys and girls in educational institutions that receive federal funds. She explained how sexual harassment creates barriers to equal educational opportunities.

Having served as a principal, as a superintendent, and currently as a consultant on school law, Dr. Stephens has seen the importance of Title IX in bringing about equality in education. The problem now is that in 2017 changes were made to weaken the law. New rules make it harder for students to come forward about sexual harassment or assault and get the support they need. AAUW lobbies to restore original intentions of Title IX.

AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, and research. Membership is open to any graduate holding a two-year or higher degree from an accredited institution. Call 972-6508 for membership questions. More information about the Branch is available at tehachapimountain-ca.aauw.net.

Phyllis Belcher is a longtime Tehachapi resident.

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