Friday, February 15, 2008

Pre-trial offers in Long Beach

Set to go to trial next week is the case involving the Long Beach United School District and the displaced gymnastics team of Wilson Classical High School. Brief re-cap: the gymnastics team's dedicated facility within the high school was taken away from them last year and turned into a weight room allegedly for everyone but others contend it will be used primarily for boys' athletics. In this room was a spring floor. The gymnastics team has been allowed to return to the room pending the trial but the floor was damaged and has not been repaired or replaced.

Last week, in an attempt to avoid trial the co-principal sent a letter to parents saying that the school had worked to secure on off-site facility for the team which they could use 5 days a week and the school would provide bus transportation to the gymnastics academy located just under 3 miles from the school.

According to the team's lawyer, Danika Vittitoe, who had not read the letter yet, the school had tried to offer an off-site facility to the team back in a January negotiation but they turned down the settlement.

“We believe that Title IX requires equal resources on campus, and this facility should be kept on campus,” Vittitoe said. “With the elimination of this room, there is not a single facility on campus dedicated to girls’ sports, while there are several dedicated for boys’ sports.”

As in the case of Darien, CT, the issue of "dedicated" facilities comes up again. It will be interesting to see how (if this case does make it to trial--there are still a few days to go) how a judge and/or jury will address this aspect of the case.