The State Board of Education has been sued over its lack of regulations against sexual harassment and sex discrimination in public school districts.
In the suit announced Wednesday, the Los Angeles-based California Women's Law Center alleges that the state board has ignored a mandate from the Legislature to develop regulations to protect students and their families.
The center bases its case on the 1982 Sex Equity in Education Act prohibiting sex discrimination in academic and athletic programs, extracurricular activities and occupational training. It called for the state boards that oversee public education to "issue rules, regulations or orders" to implement the law.
Joseph R. Symkowick, general counsel for the Department of Education, said his office has not had a chance to thoroughly review the lawsuit. "While we understand the concerns, we have to consider carefully whether the law required us to do what they claim or whether there was some discretion left for the board" in whether to come up with regulations, he said.