Example

Hopkinsville, KY

#22 Oct 26, 2012
My daughter plays high school basketball. At the end of the season she receives a letter certificate, as do all the girls’ teams. Meanwhile, the boys’ basketball team receives letter jackets as a gift from the booster club, as do the boys’ football and baseball teams. Is this a Title IX violation?
Yes. Such a practice is a violation of Title IX according to the OCR. The athletic department has the ultimate responsibility to ensure that its male and female athletes receive the same quality of equipment and supplies. The source of the funding (booster club or school funds) does not diminish or change this obligation. If permission is given by the athletic director for an act that benefits the boys’ program, a similar benefit must be provided to the girls’ program.
Example

Hopkinsville, KY

#23 Oct 26, 2012
SPORT SPECIFICS
Banquets: When a high school holds a post-season banquet for just the boys’ football and basketball programs, the rational has been that those were the only programs that generated enough revenue to help pay for dinner and/or their booster clubs paid for the meals for the team and coaches. That’s a blatant message to other athletes, especially females, about their value.
Solution: In this actual case, the OCR found the school to be in violation of Title IX that engaged in these practices.27 The girls’ athletic program did not receive equivalent benefits, in terms of awards, banquets or services. The answer, already evident in many schools today, is to have seasonal or annual school-wide sports banquets, reinforcing the value of athletics for all students. A co-ed event values sport for its highest goals and avoids promoting rigid and historic gender stereotypes or a misuse of funds.
Example

Hopkinsville, KY

#24 Oct 26, 2012
If you think the situation at your school is not fair, it is probably a good idea to find others who agree with you. Your school is not permitted to retaliate against you for filing a complaint; yet it may be easier to make change happen with a group. A single individual may find it difficult to get the attention of the institution. It is also easier for the school to pressure a single individual to drop a complaint. On the other hand, a group of people voicing their disapproval about a given situation will more likely illicit a response.
Example

Hopkinsville, KY

#25 Oct 26, 2012
If you think the situation at your school is not fair, it is probably a good idea to find others who agree with you. Your school is not permitted to retaliate against you for filing a complaint; yet it may be easier to make change happen with a group. A single individual may find it difficult to get the attention of the institution. It is also easier for the school to pressure a single individual to drop a complaint. On the other hand, a group of people voicing their disapproval about a given situation will more likely illicit a response.
It should also be noted that this does not mean that teams must “share” proceeds from fundraising activities. It does, however, place a responsibility on the district to insure that benefits, services, treatment and opportunities overall, regardless of funding sources, are equivalent for male and female athletes.”
Example

Hopkinsville, KY

#26 Oct 26, 2012
Title IX Kentucky - Guidance

My Guidance on getting your concerns addressed

What to do if you believe your school or district is not in compliance with Title IX

I have walked the path you are now considering, so here are some thoughts to guide you. In general, these are the steps I would recommend. But first, a general comment. My analysis of both my daughters’ situation and the KHSAA data leads me to conclude that if the “powers that be”(the principal and superintendent) are serious about gender equity, there will be gender equity in the school/district; and if it is not a priority, the equity just won’t be there. Everyone will follow the lead of the principal and superintendent. That being said, with the right principal and/or superintendent, any issues you raise are very likely to get quickly resolved.

The complaint I had with my daughters’ school was that they built a brand new,$1.1 million field house for the boys sports program, but provided nothing of the kind for the girls. Without some other balancing benefit for the girls program, it is impossible to paint that as equitable. Yet, dozens of people along the way – parents, school administrators, the SBDM, the superintendent, the school board attorney, and even the elected members of the school board denied there was any inequity at all. The truth was, by the district’s actions, it had made the locker room privileges of visiting football teams more important than the locker room privileges of our own girls. When forced by the KHSAA to make a change, the district only allowed the girls to use ¼ of the building – the visitor’s locker room replete with urinals on the bathroom wall – for less than ½ of the school year. The district had corrected the problem of unequal benefits by making them … still unequal.
I wish you the best.
Some general information about Title IX
Before you start, take time to make yourself an expert on Title IX. There are some links below to help you get started. The law is not that difficult to learn. You’ll read about the three-pronged test, but don’t stop there. Even if a school has met all three prongs of the test, that doesn’t mean it is in compliance. The simplest explanation of the law is that the school must treat the boys and girls the same. They don’t necessarily have to spend the same – it isn’t the dollars spent that counts it is what those dollars buy. For example, it costs more to equip a football player than a soccer player. But the equipment provided should be of the same quality for boys and girls, and if all equipment is provided for all boys, all equipment should be provided for all girls. Football does not get an exception. If every player on the football team gets all equipment completely supplied by the school, but no girls team is completely equipped, all other things being equal, that’s probably a violation.
Also, there is no exception for “revenue-generating” sports. Some people cling to the illusion that football pays for all other sports. While that might be true for top Division I colleges, it is absolutely not the case at almost every high school. The revenue generated by high school football almost never covers the cost of running a football program, which, in the vast majority of cases, means football has the greatest net cost of any sport. The math is fairly simple. With an average home attendance of 1000 at 5 dollars each for 5 home games, that brings in $25,000 for the year. That doesn’t cover the coaching salaries for many schools, much less the equipment, facilities, lights, referee fees, travel expenses, etc.

Example

Hopkinsville, KY

#27 Oct 26, 2012
It is also important to understand that the source of revenue for the athletic budget is irrelevant when assessing spending. The school/district is responsible for maintain equity regardless of where the money comes from. A large contribution by a booster club for a boys’ team does not absolve the school from assuring equal treatment.



Finally, many people want to believe that Title IX involves a sport-by-sport comparison, which again they try to use to create exceptions when no equivalent sport exists. Of course, discrepancies are much easier to see when comparing the same or similar sports, but the law doesn’t address sports; it addresses programs, such as a sports program, a music program, the educational program, etc.



Those are some of the highlights, but read up so you know the law and how compliance is judged. There are additional links provided, below. And one last note - don’t assume the school or district administration will know more about Title IX than you. They might, but not if you do your homework.





Steps to take



Below, I have listed a lot of things you can try, but the single most important factor is determination. But, a very close second to determination is to get your complaint expressed in objective terms. Cold, hard facts are winners; subjective opinions are losers.“The girls aren’t getting coaching that is as good as the boys” is an opinion. It could even be an opinion widely held. But for a Title IX argument, it won’t go anywhere. Both the number of coaches and the amount being paid to the coaches are measures you can successfully use to win your point, but the quality of the coaching is too subjective.“The girls aren’t being treated fairly” is another loser. You need to be precise about what isn’t fair and it has to be something quantifiable, such as the boys’ practicing in the new gym while the girls use the old gym, or the boys always getting practice time right after school while the girls have to return later for their practice time. If you can’t put a number on it in some way, there is no sense even raising the issue.



Once you have something concrete and quantifiable, practice a little on your friends with your pitch. Your sole source of power will be your ability to persuade and convince. So, try it out on them. Sometimes a little practice helps you find a better way to present your case. And when you do present your case, it is always best to present it in the most level-headed, fact-based approach you can muster. Be firm, sure. But don’t be angry.

Example

Hopkinsville, KY

#28 Oct 26, 2012
1) Start with the school’s gender equity committee. Each school is required to have one. They are typically chaired by someone in the school administration, which could have a chilling effect on the response you might receive, but taking this step is worth the effort. First of all, it is entirely possible you will get a positive response. If so, you might be able to get your concerns resolved at the school level, without creating a big ruckus. If you aren’t successful in getting the issue resolved, you will at least create the potential of bringing someone on the committee to your way of seeing things. When I started this process, I skipped this step. It was clear to me that the committee at my daughters’ high school had no real power to change anything – the power resides with the principal and the superintendent – so I saw no value in this first step. Nonetheless, you might win someone over to your side and you will need that, so give it a try. Also note that each school is also required to provide grievance procedures for addressing Title IX concerns. So, if you start off with the gender equity committee and they can’t give you the grievance procedures, then point them to the pertinent regulation on the Department of Education’s web site (see the link below) and insist they put one in place.
2) Do not try this on your own. If you are the only person raising an issue, there is a very slim chance that anyone in either the school or district administration will pay heed to your concerns. The typical mode of operation for both school and district administrators is to measure the significance of an issue according to the number and decibel level of complaints. Whether we like that approach or not, that’s the way it is. If you are the only person raising an issue, the administrators will always have the defense that if it was truly important, more people would be bringing it to their attention. A corollary to this is to avoid talking to the administration one parent at a time. They can always tell you they aren’t hearing similar complaints from anyone else.
3) Don’t be surprised if you find it hard to get others to join you. In this day and age, you might to get a few parents nodding in agreement with you but almost no one willing to offer any assistance beyond their nod. It is a shame that so many people, when faced with the choice of getting involved or allowing an injustice to continue, will simply sit on the sidelines.
4) Search for ways to keep “them” from digging in their heels. For many administrators, when someone points out they have done something wrong, it is a natural reaction to dig in their heels rather than admit a mistake. So, when you start on this path, try to avoid putting them in a position where they dig in. Start off using the word “we” as much as possible and avoid using “you”. You don’t want to create an “us” versus “them” scenario. For example, the phrase “it appears we have created an inequity here” would be better than “you are treating the girls as second class citizens.” It is a tough balancing act, but it is worth trying. If you can get them to see it from your side, without making them feel you are on the other side, you have a chance for a positive resolution.
Example

Hopkinsville, KY

#29 Oct 26, 2012
5) Be prepared to run into a brick wall of obstruction. When it is clear that there is an inequity, it is typically because of a failure in leadership at either the school or the district or both. Once you lose on the genteel approach – once the administration digs in their heels – their actions will move into the “deny, defend, and delay” stage. They will deny there is an issue; find a way to defend what they have done; and delay taking any action. This will go on indefinitely and they are much more likely to take this approach if you are alone. You can take your concerns to the board of education, but don’t be surprised if they defer to the education expert – the superintendent – who in theory knows the laws better than you, a mere layman.
6) Be willing to go it alone. I said don’t try this alone, but if you truly believe there are inequities, you must have the stubbornness to take it all the way all by yourself. As a friend of mine said, once you find an injustice you have no choice but to try to stop it. History is full of awful examples in which injustices were ignored. Once you know it is there, you must stop it. You have no choice. Just ask yourself what is the right thing to do. You can never go wrong by doing the right thing.
7) If you are unable to get things resolved through the gender equity committee, move up to the SBDM.
8) After the SBDM, you can try the superintendent’s office and ultimately the elected members of the board of education. Every step of the way, though, you must always remember that they have all the power and you have none. If they choose to ignore the issues you raise, you can’t do much but to keep raising them.
9) If none of that works, try the local newspaper. Sometimes a little public pressure or bad publicity can help. On the other hand, it can also go the other way, pushing the district to dig in even more defensively.
Example

Hopkinsville, KY

#30 Oct 26, 2012
Going beyond the school/district



Beyond that, you have 3 options left:



1. The KHSAA

2. The federal Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR)

3. Filing a lawsuit



Each of these options has its problems.



The KHSAA



I have to say that I would recommend against going to the KHSAA. There are several reasons. First of all, the KHSAA does not even have a formal complaint resolution process. My own experience was not positive. When I raised the NOHS issue in the fall of 2008, the KHSAA took no action that I know of. They eventually decided they would conduct their once-every-five-years revisit. But by then, I had given up and filed a complaint with the OCR. Unfortunately, the OCR contacted the KHSAA and discovered the KHSAA was doing the revisit and thus closed my complaint because another “authoritative body” was investigating my complaint. That delayed the OCR’s investigation by nearly a year while the KHSAA dawdled through their investigation. And that investigation eventually ended up with the KHSAA blessing the NOHS’s unequal solution to a clear inequality. In addition, as I discuss elsewhere, the KHSAA does not have a strong gender equity record.



I surmise that the KHSAA would publicly object but secretly appreciate my recommendation – the fewer complaints they get, the less effort they have to put into this.



The OCR



The OCR provides a way for you to file a complaint. You simply need to document the discrimination and send it in, but here is a link on the OCR’s web site documenting the complaint process.



With the OCR, you have to expect a very lengthy process. I filed my original complaint in early July of 2009 and the issue still was not resolved as of July 2011. They closed my original complaint on the basis of the KHSAA doing an investigation despite multiple pleadings on my part that the KHSAA was not investigating anything on my behalf. The OCR finally managed to get what is called a “voluntary complaint resolution” with the district in which the district resolved to do nothing more than abide by federal law in general, conduct an investigation of itself, and file a report of its findings with the OCR. The OCR’s own Case Processing Manual says any such agreement must if “fully performed … remedy the complaint.” I have had to constantly nip at the OCR’s heels about this. They say they are nearing completion of their assessments and will soon send out a response to the school district, but they have been saying that for more than 6 months.



The positive of going through the OCR is that there is no cost. If you do decide to file a complaint with the OCR, watch out for the voluntary complaint resolution. If the OCR reaches an agreement with your school/district, read through it carefully. If the agreement does not call for the school/district to resolve specific issues, I recommend you immediately file an appeal. I can’t say for sure an appeal is the right way to go because I didn’t go that route, but I have to believe it would force a real resolution quicker than the route I took.

Example

Hopkinsville, KY

#31 Oct 26, 2012
Lawsuit



Filing the lawsuit is even more difficult. The problem is that it is almost impossible to find an attorney willing to take a Title IX complaint on a contingency basis. Attorneys take cases on a contingency basis when the possible award is very high. With Title IX cases, the actual damages are hard to prove and typically small, so the attorney is looking at a situation in which he will work for free for months in the hopes of eventually winning his normal fee. Title IX is a fee reversal law, meaning the courts can award the plaintiff (you) attorney fees should you prevail, but most of us don’t have the money to pay an attorney.



But the lawsuit route has other burdens. For example, you have to have “standing.” That means, if you don’t have a daughter currently in the school on a sports team, the court could rule you have no right to bring a case. Even if your daughter is on a sports team, if she is 18 years old, you can’t bring the case. She could, but you can’t.







Other links



The federal Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights is responsible for enforcing Title IX. The web site http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/ind... has a lot of good information.



The federal Department of Education has published regulations, which have the full effect of law, specific to Title IX compliance. The full list of regulations is at ( http://www2.ed.gov/policy/rights/reg/ocr/edli... ).



National Women’s Law Center ( http://www.nwlc.org ) has been a friend and solid source of information for Title IX Kentucky. The NWLC has a broad mission, so they are spread pretty thin, but they might be able to help.



The web blog www.title-ix.blogspot.com is a good source of current events and other materials about Title IX. Many thanks to the two women, Erin Buzuvis and Kristine Newhall, who keep that up to date.



Kentucky’s Open Records and Open Meetings laws ( http://ag.ky.gov/civil/orom/ ) requires all public agencies, including school boards, to hold all meetings and make all policy decisions in public, with a few exceptions. This means, discussions about gender equity issues in the school board meetings should be open to the public. The laws also require public agencies to make almost all documents available for public inspection. So you have the right to see gender equity reports, team rosters, practice schedules, policies and procedures, etc.– pretty much anything and everything except personnel and student records. See the above site for details.

Big Nuts

Madisonville, KY

#32 Oct 26, 2012
You need to get a life or a job?
Example

Hopkinsville, KY

#33 Oct 26, 2012
Big Nuts wrote:
You need to get a life or a job?
Got one. You should know. I do some work for you!
Big Nuts

Madisonville, KY

#34 Oct 26, 2012
Thanks for your HARD work! See you tonight!
How about

United States

#35 Oct 26, 2012
How about getting the girls to win some games then maybe you can organize some money.
Treasurers Report

Owensboro, KY

#36 Oct 26, 2012
AWWWWWW pour lil softball team feels left out.. Get off ur ass and go fund raise. I coach and thats what Ihave to do, on top of a full time job ( outside the school district)... I hate cry baby parents that dont want to help raise money but want to bitch when their student athlete goes without the top of the line equipment. LOSERS
Proud Coach

Sarasota, FL

#37 Oct 26, 2012
We will see who is crying when the State and Federal money is threatened to be pulled! You get to laugh now but we will see who is laughing later.
fyi

Owensboro, KY

#38 Oct 26, 2012
Proud Coach wrote:
We will see who is crying when the State and Federal money is threatened to be pulled! You get to laugh now but we will see who is laughing later.
What a bunch of idiots. The school has to spend equal amounts. The school does not have to make up the difference between what one booster club donates over another. If that were the case a school would not allow booster clubs. This whole thread is laughable.
Proud Coach

United States

#39 Oct 26, 2012
Big Nuts wrote:
Thanks for your HARD work! See you tonight!
You going to the Trigg game tonight? I figured you would be sucking a$$ again tonight in the concession stand.
tiger girl

Owensboro, KY

#40 Oct 26, 2012
How about wrote:
How about getting the girls to win some games then maybe you can organize some money.
We will win a bunch of games this year. This is our year!!!!!!!
Big Nuts

Madisonville, KY

#41 Oct 26, 2012
Proud Coach wrote:
<quoted text>
You going to the Trigg game tonight? I figured you would be sucking a$$ again tonight in the concession stand.
Yes I had a great time! Did you eat all of the cheese burgers?

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