Ted Kennedy & Title IX.
Are you a girl who currently competes or has competed in sports at the high school and/or collegiate level? If so, you can thank Senator Ted Kennedy for his efforts and support towards Title IX from 1972, when it passed, all the way into the 2000s, when others tried to water-down the legislation.
Authored and introduced to the Senate in early 1972 by Senator Birch Bayh (D-IN), Title IX is originally a part of the Education Amendments of 1972. Though perhaps most known for demanding gender equality concerning the participation in and federal funding towards sports at both the high school and collegiate level, the title mainly called for the banning of gender discrimination in all academic and extracurricular activities in federally funded schools, stating:
"No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance…"
Ted had helped pass this law and was instrumental in keeping it alive for so long. Throughout his political career, Ted had recognized how far the law had come since 1972 but he also recognized that others were out to challenge the law, so he was always there to make sure the civil rights law was strengthened and enforced. He would appear at several “Save Title IX” events and continue to fight for the cause in the United States Senate.
"Title IX is important because it brings out the best in our youth and puts them on the path to a better and brighter future… We cannot afford to take one step back from this important civil rights law and I’ll work with my colleagues to ensure that America’s playing fields are available for every young woman who dares to try.” - Ted Kennedy, 2003