Tuesday, September 11, 2007

More on Millry

Last month I wrote briefly about complaints about the treatment of the Millry (Alabama) School's softball team. According to this recent article about the complaint put together by parents, the document was never given to the Title IX representative because it contained two forged signatures.
But Millry officials have addressed the allegations despite the lack of a formal complaint. According to the athletic director, Teddy Taylor, he has never received any complaints about softball. But he seems to put the responsibility for field conditions back on the complainers:
"When you see the condition of the softball field," he continued, "you are going to wonder why those 27 people who complained have not been working on the softball field or had the work done."
Apparently a used John Deere was given to the "softball group" (not sure who these people are) but it no longer works.
There is speculation that the Title IX complaint developed out discontent over the fact that the softball outfield is used for overflow football stadium parking. Taylor said they can't use the baseball field for such a purpose because that field has a sprinkler system installed and parking on it would destroy it. A logical explanation but one that begs the question: why does the baseball field have a sprinkler system and the softball field does not?
But unless the complaint actually gets delivered we probably will never know the real story nor will the school be forced to formally address the allegations.


Anonymous said...

As a Millry alumnus and a former FEMALE athlete I find that the acqusations being made by a few people are obviously obsered. The strides made by Millry High School, a very small rural K-12 school, has improved opportunities for the girls's tremendously. Our school barely has enough money to make it through the year much less build and athletic facility for the stars, the school is currently building a much needed gymnasium. These concerns were never brought to the athletic director nor did they follow the proper channels in order to try voice their concerns. The girl's softball team, which is making acqusations, which use to not even have a field to play on. The intentions of the people who are filing the Title IX complaint are obviously not genuine. Otherwse they woud have not forged people's signatures and it was more than two. Also After people (5) found out what they were trying to do they also asked for their names to be removed from the petiton.
As for the inadequate facilities...the girl's weightroom,which the girl's use to not even have one, is in better shape than the boys and their machine is also better than what the boys have.
As for the baseball facilities...
First let's address the parking situatation;we all agree that the gym was placed in a not so accomadateing place, but it was the only place available to replace a gym that has been in terrible shape since before Hurricane Fredrick nearly condemed it. The baseball field was built in what use to be the town cess pool. When the town moved it the school got the land filled it in and made a baseball field. So the reason for not parking on it was not just because of sprinkler system,which by the way was put in with monies and labor that was donated or raised by the players and parents. YOu can not even drive a tractor on it when it rains much less park a bunch of cars on it. The sprinkler system is something that was put in by the parents and coaches withmoney that was in the Baseball account not something the school did. So if the girl's want a sprinkler sytem by God, put one in with your own money. The superior condition of the baseball field is because the head coach and the BOYS have worked extremely hard to achieve this. The baseball field is kept groomed by the coach ALL summer. Can't say as much for the softball field since until about two weeks before school began the grass had not been cut and the grass was hip high. That is not the school nor the baseball teams fault... that falls back on the parents as well as the HEAD COACH! Oh and by the way the head baseball coach cut the grass on the softball and also donated a John Deere lawn tractor, which they new needed to be fixed. Getting it fixed is a lot cheaper than buying a new one. The baseball team bought a new Poulan lawn tractor to replace that one and it is no where near the quality of the John Deere.
Almost everything that the boys baseball team hs was either bought with money raised or donated and by the hard work of parents.
The bleachers, dugouts and concession stand was built when the baseball field was first built and it is not like the baseball team has state of the art facilities.
The girl's field is adequate for sate sanctioned events and since they are talking unequality if the girl's get a new facility then boys will then not be up to par so do they get new faciliities as well?
Another allegation being made is about finances. The girl's have their own club called the green club which takes care of all the girl's finances. They broke away from the athletic club on there own. The softball team gets to keep their concession monies as well as a couple of other girl's sports concessions. The baseball team has to put their money with the athletic club and it is divied out as necessary so who is being unfair to girl's sports their? Girl's Sports?!!!
The girl's softball team takes long trips to the beach to play in tournaments and pays for everyone's meal and place to stay. The boys do not do that they do not have enough money. The boys have to pay for their own meals and they have only gone a trip overnight and that was the state championship game in May, which the state paid for all of the nights except for one.
If they are so worried about unequal finances maybe they should stop spending money in ill advised ways. ALso the softball team was donated five thousand dollars by a state representative, but the baseball did not recieve any of it...So why should the baseball team and the athletic club suffer for what these few people see as inequalities, which they have caused them selves.
When these people were asked point blake what exactly is unequal they were unable to pin point one thing. They kept saying that it was just alot of things...and they would have to write it down.
Title IX has no bearing on dinations. Only on money that is provided by the school itself.
So to end this comment before you blog on something and insert your opioin maybe you should actually check into the facts first. Not everything is always unequal as people like to believe.

Anonymous said...

Millry athletics officials respond to parents' alleged complaints
By Ellen Williams SA Reporter

This is the girls' weight room at Millry High School, where some parents reportedly have complained about the way female athletes facilities are taken care of. (SA photo by Ellen Williams)

Athletic Director, Teddy Taylor, of Millry High School is a man with his heart planted firmly at Millry, the home of the wildcats. Taylor is a native, graduated from Millry, has been at the school for 19 years and athletic director for 14 of those years. Taylor loves the students at Millry; so when rumors began circulating that the girls softball team had been slighted, he wanted to set the record straight.

"I have never, ever had one complaint about softball. Not a single one," he declared emphatically. "I support girls' athletics more than any other person at this school. Since this story was printed, I have had people calling assuring me that they were not involved in this."

With a copy of the newspaper account of the alleged Title IX complaint in his hand, Taylor said, "Two names out of the 27 have been forged. That's why the letter was never delivered (to the Title IX representative). That letter was a legal document and it contained two forged signatures."

"When you see the condition of the softball field," he continued, "you are going to wonder why those 27 people who complained have not been working on the softball field or had the work done."

Larry Odom, principal, stated that he had the same man who cuts the football field to cut the softball field, too; but it had to be bush-hogged before it could be mowed. Taylor went on to say that the baseball coach, Shane Hendry, had used his personal bush-hog to do this.

Taylor continued, "The reason we cannot allow parking on the baseball field is because there is a sprinkler system installed and parking would destroy that."

One of the complaints was that with the construction of the new gym taking up football parking, the outfield of the softball field would be used. Odom said, "We have always used the outfield of the softball field for overflow football parking. Nothing has ever been said before."

Another complaint was the superiority of the baseball concession stand over the softball concession stand. Taylor pointed out that the softball concession stand is air conditioned; the baseball stand is not.

Hendry said he also gave the softball group a used John Deere lawn mower. "It's not running now, he said; but it was when I gave it to them." Hendry told The South Alabamian that the list of signatures began as a simple circulated petition to avoid parking on the softball field and then apparently evolved into the Title IX complaint.

Another complaint was that the girls weight room was inadequate. It is a large room with central air and heat. The boys weight room has a small window unit. And investigation uncovered that Millry female athletes are perhaps the only ones in the county (unless WCHS has one) to have their own weight room. The other weight rooms have to be scheduled and shared with male athletes.

As for softball being shortchanged financially, Odom produced records showing that they were given $5,000 by the state in some sort of grant in November 06. There is now $6,000 in the softball account. In contrast, Taylor said, "The baseball team has $1,200 in their account." He went on to say that the softball team spent a lot of their money on trips.

Coach Taylor was adamant about his love for the school and all the athletics there and he said, "These students love me, too."

Larry Odom summed up, "We have adequate facilities for girls' sports."

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