Thursday, November 30, 2006

Birmingham Board of Education Finally Settles with Coach Jackson

The Birmingham Board of Education has finally settled with Coach Roderick Jackson, the victorious plaintiff in the Supreme Court's important 2005 decision clarifying that Title IX protects whistleblowers who face retaliation for challenging sex discrimination. For background on his case, see prior posts here and here. After the Supreme Court decision, the case returned to district court so that Jackson could prove that the retaliatory discrimination he alleged did in fact occur. But instead, the parties have opted to settle:

Under the settlement reached Tuesday night with the Birmingham Board of Education, Jackson will receive $50,000, his lawyers will receive $340,000, and the board will take all necessary steps to provide female athletes with facilities comparable to those used by male athletes. Jackson had complained in part that his players had to practice in a gym built in 1908 rather than a new one used by boys.

The settlement also assures that Jackson will remain the girls’ basketball coach at Jackson-Olin High School. He had been rehired as interim coach by the Birmingham system earlier.

From AP via New York Times.

A press release from the National Women's Law Center, which represented Jackson on his Supreme Court appeal, also points out that that the settlement requires the Board to appoint Title IX Coordinators for the each school in the system, adopt a Title IX compliance policy and grievance procedure, and conduct compliance training and reviews. Having met Coach Jackson and heard him discuss his motivations for pursuing his case, I believe he is probably at least as happy about these provisions as ones that compensate him personally.


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