Tuesday, July 24, 2012

How can you tell when Title IX's gone too far?

The school board in Macomb, Illinois found out the hard way.

Recently they decided that, in the interest of gender equity, they'd require their cheerleaders to attend an equal number of basketball games for both girls and boys.

The original complaint was brought by a parent, Dr. Jill Brody.  Read about the board's concessions here.

Brody still wasn’t satisfied with how her concerns had been addressed, and appealed the board’s response. On June 18 the board reviewed that appeal and sent a final response to Brody with the following concessions:

• The boys and girls regular season basketball schedules will contain the same, or as close as possible to the same, number of games at each competition level for the 2012-2013 school year. Baseball and softball schedules will also contain the same number of games.
• All girls MHS trophies and plaques will be displayed at the high school.
• A hot water heater will be installed in the Washington Street Gym restroom.
• The district will make improvements to the girls varsity softball field, including adding a permanent fence, lighting and coverage for the spectator area.
• Cheerleaders, dance squad and pep band will perform at an even number of girls and boys basketball games during the 2012-13 season. Cheerleaders will also perform at the girls basketball team’s Thanksgiving tournament.
• The district will investigate the feasibility of installing additional bleachers at Washington Street Gym.
• The district’s athletic director will schedule both a girls and boys sophomore basketball tournament during the 2012-13 season.
• The athletic department will implement new rules for the selection of athletic shoes for boys and girls basketball.

Those concessions satisfy Brody, who said, “I’m pleased with the response of the school board, but they have to follow through.”

Brody said she received support from other Macomb School District parents while the Title IX grievance played out.

“Everybody should be for equality,” she said.

While she may have had some valid points, it turns out she didn't have as much support among the parents and athletes as she'd indicated.  Read more here.

Following each statement, the crowd erupted in applause.

“I disagree with what Jill Brody said,” said junior cheerleader Rachel Ruebush, 16, about Brody’s complaint that the absence of cheerleaders and pep band at girls basketball games was in violation of Title IX, the federal law that probates [sic] gender discrimination in education programs receiving federal funding. “It’s like mid-season you’re telling the basketball girls to go play basketball, they know that, and then end of season they’re going to have to play volleyball. And it’s just not fair and I don’t think she’s looking at the big picture. I think she should just look at the big picture and that everyone is against it.”

Board President Robert Shouse said he wasn’t expecting the large turnout for the meeting but said the board listened to what they heard from those in attendance. He was uncertain if the board would revisit the concessions made on the Title IX grievance.

Title IX is supposed to be about fairness in salaries, scheduling, facilities, equipment, coaching, etc.

It's not about deciding when/where cheerleaders and pep squads will show up.

By the way, if band, cheer, dance, and pep squads were included in the Title IX gender quota numbers, wouldn't schools be forced to scale back female athletic opportunities? Wouldn't they have to either eliminate squads or use roster caps to keep their numbers in line?  Remember that word we hear so much about, when male opportunities are being scrapped?

That's right, guys and gals:  Proportionality!!

If we're going to dictate which athletic events cheerleaders are to perform at, shouldn't they be included in our Title IX numbers?


Deer Slayer said...

What a gross misinterpretation of a crappy law. I really have only one thing to say "They didn't earn title IX, someone else gave it to them, lie the government."

Anonymous said...

My daughter just told me that there's discussion about scrapping Texas Men's swimming because of Title IX. When will we ever get NCAA to REQUIRE certain sports instead of using "equality" as a tool for discrimination?

Recently Merrimack College in Andover, Mass., was told by the Obama administration via the Office for Civil Rights that they needed to add a women's hockey team. That's right. Uh-huh.

Button said...

zero truth to the u.t. men's rumor. they're solid.

houston & rice dumped men years ago and unt has never had a men's team.

i hope there are no other men's programs in texas (or anywhere else) at risk.

women's hockey add is fine if there are gals that want to play. sure beats dumping men's sports.

issue for them will be finding players with h.s. experience here in the u.s. not a whole lot of girls' h.s. hockey here. they'll have to bring in canadiens to fill rosters.