Sunday, January 18, 2009

NYC Schools Will Move Girls' Soccer to Fall

In response to threats of litigation by the New York Civil Liberties Union, the New York City Department of Education has agreed to moved the girls' soccer season to the fall. As we noted last spring, NYCLU was challenging the Department's adherence to a 28 year old tradition of girls' soccer in the spring on the grounds that scheduling a girls' sport in the nontraditional season violated Title IX. (We predicted the Department of Education would give in, because it's clear the NYCLU is right -- especially after a similar case in Michigan was resolved in the plaintiffs' favor.) The spring season was disadvantageous for NYC girls because it conflicted with premier, nonscholastic club teams, which provide developmental opportunities in what is for girls outside NYC the "off" season. NYC boys, whose scholastic season was in the fall, could comfortably access such programs.

Tenth-grader Alyssa Ward, one of the NYCLU's clients, was pleased with the victory, according to the NYCLU's press release: “This change means that we no longer have to feel like second-class citizens and that our hard work and dedication to the game is being appreciated.”