Bernice Sandler- Grandmother of Title lX

Picture_4.pngHow it All Started:

Bernice Sandler is called the grandmother of Title lX. Why? Because she is the woman who stood up for herself and said "that's not right". In the U.S. during the 20th century, sex discrimination was still at large. Many women who had dealt with sex discrimination didn't have the courage to bring the issue to courts. Some of those ladies didn't even know they were the recipients of such discrimination. Bernice was turned down from college professor jobs because "she came on to strong for a woman" and a "house wife gone back to school". Bernice thought this was immoral, wrong, and probably against the law. That's what lead her to Executive Order 11246, amended October 13, 1968 by President Johnson. Executive Order 11246 stated that it was illegal to have sex discrimination in federal contracts with employment. Which mean what happened to Bernice could be turned into lawsuit. Finally, women had found a way to fight back against the injustice.

The Beginnings of Justice:

Bernice worked with WEAL, or Women's Equity Action League, to present a case to congress. WEAL and Bernice asked other women to contribute there dealings with sex discrimination to the evidence. Once women learned they would not be named, letters started to pour in. WEAL organized more women to send letters to their representatives and senators describing what they had experienced. An "industry wide pattern" was what the complaint covered. The women wanted investigations in undergraduate and graduate schools for admission quotas, financial assistance, hiring, promotions, and salary differences. Information of rank and number of faculty men and women came in along with information for the amount of women in certain fields compared to those who's had doctorates. The consensus was: women were being under valued. Eventually, seven hearings were held to talk of this new issue. By now, many


congressmen had been alerted and briefed on the subject. Now it was all a matter of debate. Bernice wrote down what was said during those hearings, and that writing became the 1,300 pages put into two volumes on women's rights. These volumes were then sent to every congressman and anyone else who WEAL thought should know about discrimination. In addition to these hearings, an investigation at Harvard proved to be informative. In 1970, the Department of Labor issued the Sex Discrimination Guidelines for federal contracts. Another win for women.

Title lX is Passed:

In 1972, Title lX was created. It states that any industry of higher education that receives federal funding must have all of it's programs and opportunities open to both men and women with no discrimination. In simple language, Title lX means any high school or college that gets money form the government can't let men participate in anything and not let women receive the same treatment. The bill also amended the Equal Pay Act. Before this act, paying men and women the same amount of money didn't apply to schools. Now, all faculty and staff had to get equal salaries. Unfortunately, it was three years after 1972 that a regulation was finally issued for Title lX. A year after that, colleges and high schools began to change. Women began to get more and more opportunities.

Bernice's Life:

Bernice has worked as a research assistant, nursery school teacher, a secretary, and a counselor. She has a degree in counseling, and was the first Chair of what was the NationalBernice.pngAdvisory Council on Women's educational programs. She has received many awards for her hard efforts, and has ten doctorates under her belt. To add to that, Sandler has devoted her time to more than thirty boards and has written books on her views. Some of those books include Sexual Harassment on Campus: A Guide for Administrators, Faculty and Students and The Chilly Classroom Climate: A Guide to Improve the Education of Women with authors Lisa Silverberg, Roberta Hall and Robert Shoop.


Even though all schools in every subject still aren't fair, and women are sometimes paid less then men, we have come a long way. And this is all thanks to those women in the 1960's, especially Bernice Sandler. She was the one who spoke up when others were silent, the one who knew her rights. That is why Title lX and Bernice are so important to civil rights, they changed schools completely. If not for her, girls might still be considered timid and kept from sports, jobs, or scholarships to prestigious schools.
stigious schools.

Go back to Women's Rights - Breaking Barriers in Sports (Title IX)