Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Unlike the district court, the appellate court acknowledged that the scheduling of most girls basketball on weeknights has a negative affect on girls that constitutes a substantial deprive of equal treatment. For one thing, community members are less likely to attend weeknight games, which deprives the girls' teams of audience and community support. It also imposes on girls a larger burden that their male counterparts to balance sports with academic work during the week. Moreover, the court acknowledged that the scheduling disparity can harm female athletes in a psychological way because it casts girls' activities as inferior to boys. This inferior treatment, reasoned the court, contributes to the perception that girls' sports are "second class" and undeserving, a perception that deters girls from participating in sport, "in contravention of the purposes of Title IX." This perception is also transmitted to fans and contributes to their lack of support for girl teams.
The appellate court also reinstated plaintiff's claims that the schools' scheduling practices violate the Equal Protection Clause, which district court had wrongly dismissed on sovereign immunity grounds.
For its part, the school district agrees to assess its baseball and softball programs along these lines and to devise and implement an action plan to address any discrepancies that the assessment reveals -- in other words, the school district agrees to do what Title IX already requires. The agreement provides deadlines by which the district shall accomplish these tasks, and affords OCR the opportunity to monitor and review the district's efforts.
Sunday, January 29, 2012
They just released the report for year 35.
Here are some of the highlights:
- The most women ever are employees (coaches, trainers, sports information directors, administrators, in intercollegiate athletics.
- Participation is the highest ever as is the number of teams per school (8.73 average)
- The number of women coaching women's teams is at the highest level since the start of the study.
- But 57.1 percent of women's teams are still coached by men as are 97-98 percent of men's teams.
- And only one in five coaches of intercollegiate teams are women.
- But there are 100 more women in head coaching positions today than in 2010
- One of the most interesting and startling statistics to me was that almost all schools have Sports Information Directors but only 9.8 percent are women. (Is there a connection between this stat and the lack of media coverage of women's sports?)
- And DI has the lowest percentage of women as SIDs (3.1%)
- Women are better represented as strength and conditioning coaches, though. In DI Football Bowl Subdivision schools there is at least one female S/C coach. (The issue remains though how many of those women are hired solely to train female student-athletes. This is the first year the study has addressed S/C coaches. Maybe in future years some of this information will be added.)
Friday, January 27, 2012
Thursday, January 26, 2012
As we noted in November, parents complained that the girls' soccer team often had games cut short because of darkness even though the football stadium, which has lights, was not being used. Requests to use the stadium were denied for various reasons that will not likely trump Title IX's equal treatment standards.
Superintendent Susan Barker has said that the athletic director is being trained in how to assess gender equity in athletics programs (apparently it is not a job requirement to be aware of how to follow the law). Also there may be an athletic advisory committee established, which would pass along recommendations to the school board. One of the things the hypothetical committee might recommend is that girls' soccer be allowed to use to the football stadium.
So it seems that more needs to be done in Castle Rock.
In the meanwhile, the girls' JV soccer coach has submitted a letter of resignation. (Her team often gets the brunt of the discriminatory treatment.)
Also, the stadium is not the only issue parents have. They would like addressed the issue of paying for uniforms, driving their children to games, the level of parent representation on any advisory board.
Parents will be speaking at the hearing schedule for late February.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
The University defended its failure to respond on the erroneous belief that it is not obligated to address incidents between students that occur off campus, as well as some inexplicable belief that it is somehow prevented by law from reporting incidents of assault to local police. The university is also being criticized for following up with the football coach, but not the victims, and of helping accused football players find legal representation with a local "powerful" law firm.
An independent investigation is ongoing, which has produced preliminary findings suggesting that the University has a "gap" in its reporting of sexual assault. This week, the University hosts a public meeting on date rape. We'll have to wait and see whether this investigation and increased focus on sexual violence brings more incidents to light, and whether any of the victims pursue litigation under Title IX challenging the University's deliberate indifference to sexual assault.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
The article linked above notes that Susquehanna lacks the legally-required Title IX Coordinator -- a person designated to receive Title IX complaints from students and oversee the districts implementation of the law. And the superintendent "doesn't know of any district that does" have one. (Hello? OCR?) It's not clear from the article whether that is an issue being addressed by the settlement, but hopefully the district appoints a Title IX coordinator as part of its reported efforts to improve sexual harassment policy going forward.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Monday, January 16, 2012
Sunday, January 15, 2012
A PS of sorts: membership voted NOT to reduce football scholarships or women's basketball scholarships.
Monday, January 09, 2012
Experience and common sense teach that bullies and harassers of this age are not particular about what they say when bullying and harassing their victims. While their words might reveal an animus based on the victim's male gender, they may also simply represent more generally a characteristic of the perpetrator's sociopathic behavior, regardless of the victim's gender.In a way, the judge is right that what the bullies are saying as bully is not particularly meaningful or probative of motivation or intent. But the social context of male-on-male bullying makes clear that it's entirely about sex and gender. Whether its because the victim is short, not good at sports, or perceived to be gay, the point of bullying is to sustain a power imbalance between men and women by ascribing power to those who are most traditionally masculine (big, strong, straight, good at sports) and devaluing those who do not conform to that stereotype. Relatedly, many bullies bully in order to prevent themselves from being at the bottom of the pecking order within male groups and thus closer to the group (girls) constructed as inferior. While the court might rightly distinguish this motive from picking on the victim because of his perceived gender nonconformity, it is still bullying that is, at its core, about sex, because it is about the imbalance of power between (and thus, within) the sexes.
Decision is: Estate of Carmichael v. Galbraith, 2012 WL 13568 (N.D. Tex. Jan. 5, 2012).
Tuesday, January 03, 2012
My first question was whether athletic opportunities for women in general increased during the time period in question.
- The answer, not surprisingly, is yes. Athletic opportunities for women at NCAA member institutions has increased by 31% -- from 147,683 in 1999-2000 to 193,207 in 2010-2011.
- Half of that overall increase is due to gains in three women's sports: indoor track, outdoor track, and soccer.
- Participation rates within most other women's sports increased as well. In addition to two emerging sports that were discontinued during the time frame in question -- archery and badminton -- only fencing, rifle, skiing, and synchronized swimming showed declining participation rates. All other sports gained some.
Next, I wondered whether opportunities for female athletes of color have increased during this time period as well.
- Again, the answer is yes. Opportunities for women of all minority races (Black, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latina) increased by percentages higher than the mean 31%. For instance, opportunities for Black female athletes increased from 14,001 to 21,615, or 54%. In comparison, opportunities for white female athletes increased from 117,244 to 144,598, or 23%.
- However, these gains for female athletes of color were not enough to significantly change the overall racial distribution of female athletic opportunities. In 1999-2000, 79% of female athletic opportunities went to white athletes, compared to 75% last year -- a change of only four percentage points. Meanwhile, the percentage of female athletic opportunities that went to Black women rose from 9 to 11 percent.
I then wondered whether the present distribution of female athletic opportunities by race is proportionate to racial demographics of the undergraduate population.
- The best data I could find suggests that about 8% of female college undergraduates are black (13.5% of college students are black; 59.3% of black college students are female).
- A total of 14,001 athletic opportunities received by Black women constitutes 11% of women's athletic opportunities, so Black women are not underrepresented in the distribution of women's athletic opportunities.
- Yet when you take into account the general underrepresentation of women in college athletics, the percentage of athletic opportunities for Black women is disproportionately low, since a total of 14,001 athletic opportunities received by black women constitutes only 3% of all athletic opportunities.
- In 1999-2000, there were 14,001 athletic opportunities for black female athletes. 25% of these opportunities were in outdoor track, 21% in indoor track, and 23% in basketball. This not surprising, as reporters, scholars, and advocates have noted for years about this manner of racial segregation within athletics.
- Unfortunately, though participation rates are rising in almost every sport, including two new emerging sports that have been added in the last ten years -- bowling and rugby -- opportunities for black female athletes are still concentrated in track and basketball in percentages nearly identical to those ten years ago.
- Other minority races, though receiving fewer athletic opportunities than black women, were more evenly distributed throughout various sports. Latina/Hispanic women have 7747 athletic opportunities -- 17% in soccer, 14% in softball, 10% in track. Asian women have 3999 athletic opportunities -- 12% in soccer, 11% in tennis, and 10% in track. Finally, just 716 Native American/Alaska Native women have athletic opportunities at NCAA institutions, 18% of these are in softball, followed by 13 and 12% in outdoor and indoor track, respectively.