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Presentation on theme: "WOMEN & THE VIRGINIA MILITARY INSTITUTE UNITED STATES V VIRGINIA."— Presentation transcript:


2 METHACTON PHYS. ED. Should Methacton Phys. Ed. be co-educational? What, if any, are the benefits to each alternative? What, if any, are the drawbacks to each alternative?

3 VIRGINIA MILITARY INSTITUTE The Goal: to prepare citizen soldiers

4 VIRGINIA MILITARY INSTITUTE The Means: Rigorous physical training “Adversative Method” Spartan lifestyle, living in barracks, sleeping on “hays” (foam mats) Rat Mass The training "emphasizes physical rigor, mental stress, absolute equality of treatment, absence of privacy, minute regulation of behavior, and indoctrination of values.... designed to foster in V.M.I. cadets doubts about previous beliefs and experiences and to instill in cadets new values... [in] a hostile, spartan environment...."

5 FACTS ABOUT THE CASE VMI is a state-supported college It was created in 1839 as an all-male institution 7 month long experience for new students (rats) similar to Marine Corps boot camp In 1990 the U.S. Government sued VA and VMI at the request of a female student seeking admission

6 EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. Government’s can treat different groups of people differently only if such a classification serves an important government objective such as promoting safety

7 FACTS ABOUT THE CASE VMI explained that its policy should be allowed under the equal protection clause because it’s school for men brought a diversity to the state of Virginia’s otherwise coeducational system VMI claimed that if women were admitted, VMI would have to change housing and training requirements, which would fundamentally change its distinctive “adversative” approach to education VMI offered to establish a separate program called the VWIL – a program not very similar to VMI’s training that would be only for women at a nearby women’s college

8 QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER Did VMI’s male-only policy violate the equal protection clause? Was VMI’s proposed remedy of a separate program a legally acceptable alterative? In your opinion, was VMI’s goal of educating citizen soldiers unsuitable for women? Was VMI’s men-only policy unconstitutional? If so, what remedy should be offered? Should the Virginia Military Institute and the Citadel be forced to admit women? Should the Virginia Military Institute and the Citadel be forced to admit women?

9 MAKING ITS WAY THROUGH THE COURTS In 1991, the District Court ruled that "diversity in education" was a legitimate state interest. Both V.M.I.'s male-only admissions policy and its "distinctive educational methods" were substantially related to this legitimate interest. Therefore, V.M.I.'s exclusion of women was upheld. The United States appealed. A circuit judge wrote that the court would "not order that women be admitted to V.M.I. if alternatives are available" but would instead send back the case to the District Court "to give to the commonwealth the responsibility to select a course it chooses, so long as the guarantees of the Fourteenth Amendment are satisfied." On June 26, 1996, the Court ruled seven to one that V.M.I. must either forgo state funding or admit women.

10 RECENT ARTICLE VMI Continues to Work to Recruit Women


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