Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Parents Make Equal Treatment Claim Against School District

Parents have sued the Coffee County, Tennessee school district in federal court, alleging that Central High School discriminates against their daughters, female soccer players, by failing to provide equal treatment to girls' sports. Specifically, the lawsuit alleges disparities in funding that result in members of the girls' soccer team having to raise funds for the same equipment and supplies that are provided to the boys' team. The lawsuit also alleges that girls' teams have less access to facilities for competition, practice and locker rooms.

Title IX regulations require schools to equitably support male and female athletic programs, including in the allocation of facilities, equipment, locker rooms, and other factors. The regulations do not, however, require equity within a particular sport. Thus, disparities between boys' and girls' soccer do not violate Title IX if girls' teams in other sports receive more favorable treatment. But, if the disparities between boys and girls' soccer programs are indicative of the athletic program as a whole, the district may be liable.