The Florida High School Athletic Association reached a settlement last week with Jacksonville parents who filed a Title IX discrimination lawsuit against them. According to the Miami Herald, the terms of the settlement require the FHSAA to pay $41,200 in legal fees, notify the parents in writing two weeks before any proposed changes to an amendment that involves sports scheduling cuts, and provide Title IX training at its representative assembly meeting and in its compliance seminars.
The parents filed suit after the FHSAA voted to reduce the schedules of all varsity sports except football and competitive cheerleading by 20 percent. The FHSAA executive director Roger Dearing, told the Sun Sentinel in an email, “It is our understanding that all schools have returned to the same number of contests they had in the 2008-09 school year. It is unfortunate that the situation occurred while trying to help our member schools with the financial crisis they are facing, which inadvertently created an unintentional disparity to our student-athletes.”
Title IX, the revolutionary federal law that outlaws sex-discrimination in education, was originally passed in 1972, and reads: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance[.]” The regulations for implementing Title IX were issued in 1975, and require that schools publish grievance procedures, and have Title IX coordinators.