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JACKSON v. BIRMINGHAM BOARD OF EDUCATION, 544 U.S. ---

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JACKSON v. BIRMINGHAM BOARD OF EDUCATION

CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT

No. 02-1672.Argued November 30, 2004--Decided March 29, 2005

After petitioner, the girls' basketball coach at a public high school, discovered that his team was not receiving equal funding and equal access to athletic equipment and facilities, he complained unsuccessfully to his supervisors. He then received negative work evaluations and ultimately was removed as the girls' coach. He brought this suit alleging that respondent school board (Board) had retaliated against him because he had complained about sex discrimination in the high school's athletic program, and that such retaliation violated Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U. S. C. §1681(a), which provides that "[n]o person ... shall, on the basis of sex, be ... subjected to discrimination under any education program ... receiving Federal financial assistance." The District Court dismissed the complaint on the ground that Title IX's private cause of action does not include claims of retaliation, and the Eleventh Circuit agreed and affirmed. The appeals court also concluded that, under Alexander v. Sandoval, 532 U. S. 275, the Department of Education's Title IX regulation expressly prohibiting retaliation does not create a private cause of action, and that, even if Title IX prohibits retaliation, petitioner is not within the class of persons the statute protects.

Held: Title IX's private right of action encompasses claims of retaliation against an individual because he has complained about sex discrimination. Pp. 3-15.


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