A group of high school female athletes won their Title IX class action lawsuit against Sweetwater Union High School District in California. In Ollier v. Sweetwater Union High School, et al., US Judge James Lorenz ruled that Castle Park High School’s athletic facilities and resources for male students were superior to those provided for female students.
For example, the girls’ softball field was not maintained well and did not have fences, while the boys’ field was in top condition. Women athletes were also more likely to have fewer coaches than their male counterparts, and the women-only teams never had the support of the school’s cheerleaders and only had the support of the marching band on a few occasions. The district will now have 45 days to submit a proposed plan of compliance.
The 1972 Education Amendment’s Title IX prohibits discrimination in education, including athletics, based on sex. “Title IX is almost 40 years old, yet we still see this type of blatant discrimination against young girls all across the country,” said Elizabeth Kristen of The Legal Aid Society–Employment Law Center, which filed the case in 2007, along with the California Women’s Law Center and Manatt, Phelps, & Phillips, LLP.
The Feminist Majority Foundation is currently working to rescind the 2006 Bush-era Title IX regulations that make it significantly easier to allow single-sex classrooms in public schools.
Education News 2/12/12; Title IX Blog 2/11/12; The Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center 2/10/12; Business Wire 2/10/12