Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Investigations into Locker Rooms and Softball Facilities Prompt Improvements

I've been meaning to post about these two stories, from earlier this summer, in which complaints filed with the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights prompted requirements for improvements to facilities for women's sports.

Earlier this month OCR concluded that Oldham County School District in Kentucky violates Title IX because of inequitable locker room facilities at two county schools, Oldham County High School and South Oldham High School. OCR conducted an investigation of the school district facilities after parents filed a complaint (as well as a lawsuit, as discussed in an earlier post). Oldham County is also being investigated in response to a separate complaint, filed by National Women's Law Center, challenging the disparity in athletic opportunities available to girls and boys.

Elsewhere, an OCR investigation has recently prompted Santa Clara University in California to agree to construct an on-campus softball facility to remedy disparities in facilities available to men's and women's teams.

Both stories are a good reminder that Title IX does not just require equitable number of participation opportunities, but to the overall quality of those opportunities as well.