Thursday, February 10, 2011

Keep school activities equal

Little Jane should have the same opportunities as little Johnny, well, unless of course it interferers with the good ol’ boy sports programs.

If you listen to the good ol’ boys of sports, you would think that football is on the way out of high school sports. The panic is nationwide. The warnings come from none other than The College Sports Council, a organization created to support college sports.

A months ago, the National Women’s Law Center asked the United States education department’s Office for Civil Rights investigate 12 school districts nationwide that they suggest are violating Title IX. It is a portion of the former Education Amendments of 1972, now called the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act in honor of its principal author. It states in more precise legal language that no person should be denied equal opportunity in education on the basis of their gender.

The Pacific Legal Foundation recently filed a counter suit asking that the department of education not only reject the request to investigate the 12 school districts but suggested that the act doesn’t apply to K-12 education. Pacific Legal Foundation’s staff lawyer, Joshua Thompson, says that there is nothing in the act or in this regulation that applies to high school sports.

None of the school districts in question are in Michigan. But, every school district in the state will be watching the events. The outcome of the fight will effect districts by either loosening the regulations or by making them stronger.

Since 1972 every challenge of this act has been rejected. Every presidential administration, Republican and Democratic, have supported the Title IX and its regulation of high school sports. That includes the Reagan administration that was the inspiration for the founding of the lead challenger in this latest barrage, The Pacific Legal Foundation.

Whatever the legal outcome of this fight and those that may follow, a responsible community should not support any policy that discriminates by gender. Within that policy, it would not be expected that if a school district determines that there isn’t enough participation in a sport to field a team, then let it go. But, if there is, it should be treated as fairly as any other sport.

The National Women’s Law Center is right to asked the United States education department’s Office for Civil Rights to investigate the school districts. The calls of foul by the Pacific Legal Foundation is off base.

The National Women’s Law Center, in their own words, champion laws and policies that work for women and families.

Pacific Legal Foundation is an organization, in their own words, that is rescuing liberty from coast to coast.


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