Wednesday, April 25, 2007

More booster club/Title IX conflicts

Another issue regarding booster clubs has arisen in regards to gender equity. Recently we reported on the situation in Pennsylvania with a booster club providing a number of perks to the football team. Now it appears charges of gender inequity have arisen in Minnesota over the treatment of girls' and boys' ice hockey.
The Minnesota situation though is a little complicated because it involves a booster club paying for improvements at a rink not owned by the school district. The article sums it up like this:
It involves a nonprofit booster club raising money to improve an arena owned by another nonprofit and a school district that rents ice there for about a third of the practices and home games for a co-op team that calls Bernick's Arena in Sartell its home arena.
The booster club raised money and contracted for the addition of many improvements to the boys' locker rooms creating this situation:
[T]he boys booster club had built additions to Arena East that created a locker room with permanent lockers for the varsity boys, a room for junior varsity boys and a space that had been set up as a lounge accessible only to the boys. The junior varsity and varsity girls changed in a third room that had no lockers and only hooks on the wall and some folding chairs to sit on.
OCR has already answered the complaint saying that the inequitable facilities at Arena East (which is actually only one of the two arenas the girls play at; the other's facilities are not in question) do not rise to the level of a Title IX violation. But the letter to the district did suggest some solutions. Which one(s) the district chooses to take remain up in the air. Whatever they do, however, the district should now know that it cannot wash its hands of booster club activities.

No comments: