Saturday, February 09, 2013

Op-Ed Addresses Income, Sex Inequalities in Schools and Public Parks

A great op-ed on Title IX appeared on this week to commemorate the 27th annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day.  The author, Kim Turner, a fellow at the Fair Play for Girls in Sports Project, makes the case that despite Title IX, inequalities exist for girls, especially low income girls of color.
Even today, it is far too common that a pristine football field with a high-tech scoreboard is reserved for male athletes, while female athletes are relegated to a run-down field shared with other teams. This persistent gap in gender equality is exacerbated in poor areas. We would never tolerate allocating fewer textbooks to girls than boys in any circumstance. Mounting budgetary pressure on schools is no excuse for giving girls fewer opportunities than boys, inside or outside the classroom. Under Title IX, a lack of parity in athletic facilities, equipment and scheduling can be reported, addressed and litigated if necessary. Yet few girls, parents, coaches and supporters know their rights or how to demand equality.
Turner also goes on to describe inequalities in public parks and recreation programs, which, while outside the scope of Title IX, are prohibited in her home state of California under AB 2404, which Turner describes as a "little-known" law.  She then makes the case for stronger enforcement of both laws.

The Fair Play for Girls in Sports Project is part of the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center (LAS-ELC)-- the California-focused public-interest law organization that litigated such Title IX cases as Ollier v. Sweetwater Union H.S. District and Cruz v. Alhambra School District.  The Project's website includes information and resources, including a hotline for questions about equity for girls in sports.