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June 20, 2012

Time hasn’t ended legal furor over Title IX

(Continued)

Doing so might save schools money and time. The Michigan High School Athletic Association spent a decade embroiled in a Title IX lawsuit before it agreed, in 2009, to change the way it scheduled its girls' and boys' athletic seasons. The association had to pay $6 million in legal fees to the plaintiff, Communities for Equity.

In Indiana, a federal appeals court recently ruled in favor of a high school girls' basketball coach, Amber Parker, who lost her job after she complained about a scheduling disparity that put boys' games into the "prime time" spots on weekends, while relegating the girls' games to weeknights.

The February decision noted that Indiana high school athletic directors had been told 14 years ago by the Office of Civil Rights that the scheduling disparity violated Title IX.

Yet the case isn't over. While Parker won a settlement from her former employer, the group of Indiana schools named as defendants in the case hasn't agreed to implement any changes. A trial is scheduled on their inaction next year.

Parker's attorney, William Groth, said there is still resistance to Title IX, especially when it comes to the thornier issues like gender inequity in game scheduling.

"The fact that a law was passed doesn't mean the problem is going to go away," said Groth.

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Maureen Hayden is the CNHI state reporter in Indianapolis. Contact her at maureen.hayden@indianamediagroup.com.

 

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