Roderick Jackson was hired as a physical education teacher and a girls' basketball coach at Ensley High School. While coaching at Ensley, Jackson came to discover the disparities between the boys' and girls' programs'. He believed that the girls' team was denied equal funding and equal access to sports facilities and equipment. Jackson took his complaints to his supervisors and, shortly thereafter, he began receiving negative work evaluations. Jackson was fired from his coaching duties in May 2001. He filed a suit against the Birmingham Board of Education, saying that he was the victim of retaliation for complaining about sex discrimination. 'Petitioner alleged that the respondent retaliated against him, and that such retaliation violates Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.'4 The district court dismissed petitioner's complaint, holding that Title IX does not create a private cause of action for retaliation. The Eleventh Circuit ruled that neither Title IX nor its implementing regulation implies a private right of action for retaliation by individuals who are victims of retaliation because they complained about gender discrimination suffered by others.5
Therefore, Jackson is permitted to seek judicial relief from the recipient.
Jackson is bringing his issue to the Supreme Court in order to convince them that he has the right to sue under Title IX, the 1972 federal law that bars sexual discrimination in college and high school athletic programs that receive federal money. Birmingham Board of Education will argue that Jackson had no right to sue because he had suffered no sex discrimination and Congress had not given individuals the power to sue. They had said that a retaliation suit could lead to a groundswell of litigation claiming schools had spent federal money unfairly.6