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Thread: what is "discrimination" in the martial arts Studio?

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    Default what is "discrimination" in the martial arts Studio?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Carol Kaur
    The Houston law firm of Beirne, Maynard, and Parsons has been contacted by Black Belt magazine for a 2-part article on Martial Artists and the risk they face in an altercation. Attorney Scott Marrs is a BB in TKD, Attorney Andy McGill practices Muay Thai.

    The first part will appear in the August 2007 issue of Black Belt magazine, you can also view it here.


    Well, since "discrimination" has came up on another thread, I am curious if you know of any articles or threads on "discrimination" and how that affects a studio with it's legalities.

    DOC

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    Default Re: what is "discrimination" in the martial arts Studio?

    If the club is run as a private business, the club management can legally engage in just about any kind of discrimination with potential customers it sees fit. It would be legal to open up a martial arts club strictly for white heterosexual men whose last 1040 filing placed them in an upper income bracket.

    But...just because something is legal doesn't mean its advisable, nor does it mean that it is good business. Discrimination doesn't necessarily mean bad business either...Curves, is perhaps the finest example.

    As far as discrimination with current or potential employees...public or private, the business must follow the law. Employee protection under the EEOC, the ADA and other federal statutes begin once a business has 15 employees...however, many state-level protections begin at less than that.

    It is legal for any business, public or private, to discriminate on lines not protected by law. For example - in all states it is legal to discriminate against (or for) bikers. In all but one state it is legal to discriminate against a person because they are overweight. In most states it is legal to discriminate against smokers. In some states its legal to discriminate against someone's sexual orientation.

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    Default Re: what is "discrimination" in the martial arts Studio?

    Quote Originally Posted by Carol Kaur View Post
    If the club is run as a private business, the club management can legally engage in just about any kind of discrimination with potential customers it sees fit. It would be legal to open up a martial arts club strictly for white heterosexual men whose last 1040 filing placed them in an upper income bracket.

    But...just because something is legal doesn't mean its advisable, nor does it mean that it is good business. Discrimination doesn't necessarily mean bad business either...Curves, is perhaps the finest example.

    As far as discrimination with current or potential employees...public or private, the business must follow the law. Employee protection under the EEOC, the ADA and other federal statutes begin once a business has 15 employees...however, many state-level protections begin at less than that.

    It is legal for any business, public or private, to discriminate on lines not protected by law. For example - in all states it is legal to discriminate against (or for) bikers. In all but one state it is legal to discriminate against a person because they are overweight. In most states it is legal to discriminate against smokers. In some states its legal to discriminate against someone's sexual orientation.
    That bites
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    Default Re: what is "discrimination" in the martial arts Studio?

    Quote Originally Posted by MARSHALLS KENPO View Post
    That bites
    Its easy to paint a picture that involves emotional aspects of discrimination. But it also means a school doesn't have to teach everyone that walks through their door, and it means that a school can turn down a student with a bad reputation without legal repercussions.

    Such laws (or the lack of them) are not intended to replace personal responsibility or professional ethics.

    A good MA instructor teaches a student to defend themselves both on the mat and off. A really good MA instructor brings up an instructor proficient enough to go forward and teach on their own...following not just the technical aspects, but the interpersonal aspects and values as well.

    As MAists, we really shouldn't need laws to tell us to do the right thing. We should do the right thing based on how we were taught, how our instructors wanted us to follow in their path, and how we want to treat others.

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    Default Re: what is "discrimination" in the martial arts Studio?

    Quote Originally Posted by Carol Kaur View Post
    Its easy to paint a picture that involves emotional aspects of discrimination. But it also means a school doesn't have to teach everyone that walks through their door, and it means that a school can turn down a student with a bad reputation without legal repercussions.

    Such laws (or the lack of them) are not intended to replace personal responsibility or professional ethics.

    A good MA instructor teaches a student to defend themselves both on the mat and off. A really good MA instructor brings up an instructor proficient enough to go forward and teach on their own...following not just the technical aspects, but the interpersonal aspects and values as well.

    As MAists, we really shouldn't need laws to tell us to do the right thing. We should do the right thing based on how we were taught, how our instructors wanted us to follow in their path, and how we want to treat others.
    Well said Carol
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    Default Re: what is "discrimination" in the martial arts Studio?

    Have any of the instructors here ever faced a lawsuit (or threatened with one at least) based on a refusal to teach someone for whatever reasons?

    The concept of "discrimination" would be relevant here.

    I can completely agree that an instructor should have every right to refuse to teach someone based on whatever criteria that instructor has in place.

    How do you protect yourself legally when you do this? How do you "prove" or "disprove" that your reasons for refusing to teach someone was legal? That it wasn't based on sex, age, race, color, religion, etc...?

    Does refusing to teach a blind or handicapped student come close to crossing that LEGAL line?

    I'm curious, since this came up on the other thread and spawned this one. This isn't accusing anyone of anything, and its meant completely as an honest question...I'm curious about the legal aspects of this stuff.

    Thanks!

    Your brother in Kenpo, Craig.

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    Default Re: what is "discrimination" in the martial arts Studio?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenpo-Owl View Post
    Have any of the instructors here ever faced a lawsuit (or threatened with one at least) based on a refusal to teach someone for whatever reasons?

    The concept of "discrimination" would be relevant here.
    Would it? Which law do you think it violates?

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    Default Re: what is "discrimination" in the martial arts Studio?

    A civil right is an enforceable right or privilege, which if interfered with by another gives rise to an action for injury. Examples of civil rights are freedom of speech, press, and assembly; the right to vote; freedom from involuntary servitude; and the right to equality in public places. Discrimination occurs when the civil rights of an individual are denied or interfered with because of their membership in a particular group or class. Statutes have been enacted to prevent discrimination based on a person's race, sex, religion, age, previous condition of servitude, physical limitation, national origin, and in some instances sexual preference.
    Its currently illegal for a restaraunt to refuse service to someone based on these factors, yes?

    Would a dojo that refuses service on these same criteria also not be at risk of a lawsuit?

    Again...I'm asking out of curiousity. Please everyone realize I'm not criticizing or complaining about anyone or anything. If I have a complaint or negative comment...I'll come out and say it point blank!

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    Default Re: what is "discrimination" in the martial arts Studio?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenpo-Owl View Post
    Its currently illegal for a restaraunt to refuse service to someone based on these factors, yes?

    Would a dojo that refuses service on these same criteria also not be at risk of a lawsuit?

    Again...I'm asking out of curiousity. Please everyone realize I'm not criticizing or complaining about anyone or anything. If I have a complaint or negative comment...I'll come out and say it point blank!
    Which of my Civil Liberties are violiated if I am forced to teach someone I do not wish to teach? How about my rights concerning life,liberty,and the persuit of happiness? Also it is good to have someone else present when refusing to teach a person. We can all justify what we do, if we look hard enough.

    Surely there is a person here who practices law, and could shine some light on this subject.
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    Default Re: what is "discrimination" in the martial arts Studio?

    Quote Originally Posted by Carol Kaur View Post
    Its easy to paint a picture that involves emotional aspects of discrimination.
    I had a bum on a wheel chair come into my studio once.

    With all his adictions and smells.

    He said he wanted to learn karate.

    I told him (POLITELY) that we couldn't teach him what we do because he couldn't walk.

    I told him to call up special services and see if they could help.

    Then he asked to use our bathroom (his REAL intention to coming into the studio).

    I told him that we do NOT have "open to the public" facilities, sorry, but that the restaurant right next door did.

    The next day I was invaded by city authorties telling me I "needed to have wheelchair access to my bathrooms".

    I told them, "it'll be taken care of today".

    I then told them, we don't allow public access to our toilets for bums, is that okay?

    They told me I only needed access for clients.

    I told them that I had no clients in wheelchairs, because we use "legs".

    They said, since it is a business and we do have a business licence we are REQUIRED to have a 44" access. THAT'S THE LAW!

    So I closed my doors to any walk-in public.

    NO ONE from the streets are allowed into my school without an appointment.

    But that's just me.

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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    Default Re: what is "discrimination" in the martial arts Studio?

    Quote Originally Posted by MARSHALLS KENPO View Post
    Which of my Civil Liberties are violiated if I am forced to teach someone I do not wish to teach? .
    Actually, since we teach a MARTIAL ART which is deadly, we CAN LEGALLY pick and choose who we teach.

    And we should.

    If we in our brilliance believe that the person is NOT responsible, we can refuse him.

    DOC

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    Default Re: what is "discrimination" in the martial arts Studio?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenpo-Owl View Post
    Its currently illegal for a restaraunt to refuse service to someone based on these factors, yes?

    Would a dojo that refuses service on these same criteria also not be at risk of a lawsuit?

    Again...I'm asking out of curiousity. Please everyone realize I'm not criticizing or complaining about anyone or anything. If I have a complaint or negative comment...I'll come out and say it point blank!
    Not taken as negative from my side I belong to a business networking group that occasionally gets the question "Isn't it illegal to do XXXXXX ?" which usually prompts a discussion of ...what law is XXXXXX breaking, as well as a debate over whether its better described as illegal or inadvisable.

    I'm not an attorney so please take this with a grain of salt. The right to refuse service is something that could be the source of a thesis.

    The Federal Civil Rights Act guarantees all people the right to "full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin."

    The right of public accommodation is also guaranteed to disabled citizens under the Americans with Disabilities Act, which precludes discrimination by businesses on the basis of disability. There also many state laws that are stricter than federal law.


    So...interpreting the law gets in to gritty stuff like interpreting what a "place of public accommodation" is....which is something best left to a qualified attorney. But for the sake of discussion....a restaurant, a bar, a grocery store...these are all businesses that people patronize at random. MA schools are usually clubs, with membership rules and agreements.

    Just because something is not expressly prohibited under the law, doesn't mean its a good idea. The Massachusetts Class "A" License To Carry is not a CCW and does not expressly forbid open carry of a firearm. However, I don't know of a single Mass. Gun Law attorney that would advise a citizen to do so.

    There is also nothing that protects private clubs from bad press that stems from stupid decisions.

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    Talking Re: what is "discrimination" in the martial arts Studio?

    Quote Originally Posted by Carol Kaur View Post
    Not taken as negative from my side

    I'm not an attorney so please take this with a grain of salt. The right to refuse service is something that could be the source of a thesis.


    There is also nothing that protects private clubs from bad press that stems from stupid decisions.
    So it sounds like you have already started your Thesis
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    Default Re: what is "discrimination" in the martial arts Studio?

    Quote Originally Posted by MARSHALLS KENPO View Post
    So it sounds like you have already started your Thesis
    It's a shame the School of Life isn't an accredited university.

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    Default Re: what is "discrimination" in the martial arts Studio?

    Quote Originally Posted by Carol Kaur View Post
    It's a shame the School of Life isn't an accredited university.
    No doubt....

    I would never train anyone whom I thought would misuse the knowledge to wrongfully hurt another. If that's discrimination, then sue me.
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: what is "discrimination" in the martial arts Studio?

    Quote Originally Posted by Carol Kaur View Post
    It's a shame the School of Life isn't an accredited university.
    Oh but it is !!!! Just look at those whom you influence.
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    Default Re: what is "discrimination" in the martial arts Studio?

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler View Post
    No doubt....

    I would never train anyone whom I thought would misuse the knowledge to wrongfully hurt another. If that's discrimination, then sue me.
    I have got to get to Ga.
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    Default Re: what is "discrimination" in the martial arts Studio?

    OK...now this is all some seriously interesting stuff!! Carol, thank you very much for the information!

    These are all interesting things to consider.

    Realize that I completely agree with choosing not to teach someone based on a number of factors. I'm simply curious how we (as martial artists) do this and avoid any potential legal issues.

    And I agree...Celtic, I do look forward to meeting you someday!

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    Default Re: what is "discrimination" in the martial arts Studio?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenpo-Owl View Post
    OK...now this is all some seriously interesting stuff!! Carol, thank you very much for the information!

    These are all interesting things to consider.

    Realize that I completely agree with choosing not to teach someone based on a number of factors. I'm simply curious how we (as martial artists) do this and avoid any potential legal issues.

    And I agree...Celtic, I do look forward to meeting you someday!
    Hey,

    Im in Omaha and get down to Topeka from time to time. Would you like to hook up some day and share some floor time?
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    Default Re: what is "discrimination" in the martial arts Studio?

    Quote Originally Posted by Carol Kaur View Post
    It's a shame the School of Life isn't an accredited university.
    Sorry.

    The game of life IS an accredited university, but under a different name.

    DOC

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