Title IX, for anyone with daughters who play sports, is a requirement that athletic programs in high school and college offers girl’s or women’s althetic programs thatÂ are fair or equal with the programs offered to boys or men.Â And according to this piece in this morning’s Los Angeles Times, Irvine’s High School Programs at Northwood, Irvine High, Woodbridge and University High were found to be lacking.
From the story: “The four high schools in the Irvine Unified School District were informed Wednesday that the National Women’s Law Center had filed a complaint against them and 11 other school districts in the U.S. for allegedly failing to comply with Title IX requirements to offer equal sports opportunities for women.
Using data from 2004 through 2006, which the NWLC said were the best available, the Irvine high schools â€” Woodbridge, University, Northwood and Irvine â€” showed a growing gap of more than 10% between the number of girls enrolled versus the number who play sports.
The NWLC, based in Washington, suggested Irvine’s schools add one of four sports â€” field hockey, badminton, gymnastics and skiing. Of the 582 schools in the CIF Southern Section, none offer women’s skiing, five offer gymnastics, 12 offer field hockey and 39 badminton.”
Now I don’t think adding a skiing program is all that practical, but a bigger issue frankly is equal access to facilities and fields. Boy’s teams always get optimal scheduling and best available times for games and practices, while girl’s programs tend to get second class treatment.Â Another way to achieve more parity for Title IX requirements is to drop some boy’s sports programs whiich would certainly appeal to the cost-cutting Republicans among Irvine’s citizens.
The larger issue is when arts and music programs, debates teams and Model UN programs, and other extracurricular programs that areÂ typically cut to the bone or funded through parental donations, can get the same sort of clout that sports programs get will our schools offer fair and equal opportunities for all of our students.Â All I can say is Northwood’s debate team strikes fear in the hearts of many opponents throughout Orange County; the football team, not so much.Â If only there could be a pep rally for the debate team….one can dream.