RECENT DEVELOPMENTS: "Character Standard" or Sex Discrimination? Students' Exclusion from National Honor Society Called a Violation of Title IX Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 1999 The Regents of the University of California on behalf of 
Berkeley Women's Law Journal

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS: "Character Standard" or Sex Discrimination? Students' Exclusion from National Honor Society Called a Violation of Title IX

1999

14 Berkeley Women's L.J. 116

Author

Gabrielle Morgan +

Excerpt

At first glance, the picture is baffling. Why would two intelligent, talented, and involved high school juniors be denied admission into the National Honors Society, despite meeting every material criterion? Upon closer inspection, however, the reason for their exclusion becomes depressingly clear. Chasity Glass and Somer Chipman both committed the cardinal sin of becoming pregnant out of wedlock, the so-called "scarlet P." 1 For their mistakes, they were denied an honor they had clearly earned.

Has American society stayed so rigidly moralistic? Do we still whisper about unwed mothers, still bundle them off to the countryside to endure their pregnancies in secret and in silence? Surely some of the advances the civil rights and women's movements have made in the last century should have altered these anachronistic social rules. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) certainly thinks so. On behalf of Chasity, Somer, and their parents, the ACLU sued the Grant County School District (GCSD) for violating Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. 2 If the school board is, as alleged, excluding the girls because of their pregnancies, then they are discriminating on the basis of sex, since no boy can or will ever be denied admission because of his pregnancy.

THE NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY

The National Honor Society (NHS) describes itself as "the nation's premier organization established to recognize outstanding high school students." 3 The NHS was founded in 1921 by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), ...
 
 
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