The U.S. Education Department's Office for Civil Rights has published a letter to high school and college officials on gender equity in career and technical education programs. The letter states that it is providing guidance on existing law and offers examples of how schools and colleges may need to reconsider policies. For example, it says that if a community college construction technology program requires applicants to have studied construction technology in high school, that could raise issues because so few female high school students take such courses. The college would then need to study whether the requirement was truly necessary and not just assume that it was because of past practice.
Ohio State University has dropped plans to have its mascot, Brutus Buckeye (right), march in a gay pride parade in Columbus this weekend, The Columbus Dispatch reported. Officials cited safety concerns in the wake of Sunday's attack on a gay club in Orlando, Fla. However, Ohio State students and its president plan to participate in some events this weekend related to gay pride celebrations.
On social media, many criticized the university's decision:
@OhioState cowers in wake of lone wolf terrorist in Orlando & prevents @Brutus_Buckeye from walking in Columbus Pride parade. That's weak.
After starting out in engineering, women are less likely than men to stay in the profession. But rather than a toxic curriculum or classroom environment, the problem may come from the group dynamics found in teamwork and summer internships, according to a new study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
When MIT researchers analyzed more than 40 engineering students’ twice-monthly diaries, they found that female students often felt marginalized during group activities. In these situations, men are more likely to work on challenging problems, while women are more likely to be assigned menial tasks. For example, one of the students wrote about a group project in her design class: “Two girls in a group had been working on the robot we were building in that class for hours, and the guys in their group came in and within minutes had sentenced them to doing menial tasks while the guys went and had all the fun in the machine shop.”
The publication, called The Koala, was defunded after running a story that mocked trigger warnings and safe spaces. But by selectively defunding certain viewpoints, the student government violated the First Amendment, the ACLU wrote in a statement.
“Trauma is real,” David Loy, legal director of the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties, said in the statement, “but censorship is not the cure, because it inevitably blows back on those it purports to protect.”
The lawsuit argues that the student government’s actions violated freedom of speech by denying The Koala funding due to its views, while it violated freedom of the press by refusing to fund The Koala while continuing to fund other publications.
UC San Diego doesn't comment on lawsuits, a spokeswoman told The San Diego Union Tribune. Back in November, after the controversial story was published, the university denounced The Koala in a statement on its website.
Seattle University has placed Jodi Kelly, dean of the university's humanities college, on leave, with a student sit-in that is seeking her ouster now more than three weeks old, The Seattle Times reported. The sit-in is demanding numerous changes to make the curriculum of the humanities college more multicultural. But students have also demanded Kelly's ouster, saying she has used a slur against black people. Kelly has said that she does not use that word to refer to anyone, but that she did use it to describe the book Nigger, the autobiography of Dick Gregory, the civil rights activist and biographer. Gregory, in an essay in Inside Higher Ed, has defended her.
Seattle's interim provost, Bob Dullea, said of Kelly's leave: “I have taken this action because I believe, based on information that has come forward over the past several weeks, that successful operations of the college at this time require that she step away from day-to-day management and oversight." He said this information would be investigated. Kelly could not be reached for comment.
While hundreds have signed a petition supporting the sit-in, a counterpetition is attracting support for Kelly. "Jodi has dedicated her life to students. She is a strong, intelligent, open-minded woman who has helped many students on their educational paths," says the petition.
The Executive Council of the Modern Language Association has issued a statement condemning North Carolina's controversial law requiring public institutions, including schools and colleges, to limit access to multiple-occupancy bathrooms to those whose legal gender at birth matches the facility's designation. "Such forms of legislation risk placing in danger a highly vulnerable population that is already subject to increasing violence. The MLA supports the condemnation of this bill by the Attorney General Loretta Lynch. It supports policies and pedagogy in educational institutions that respect the human dignity of the transgender community," says the MLA statement.