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Title IX Crusader Is Waging a New Battle in Birmingham

After a 2005 U.S. Supreme Court victory over the Birmingham (Ala.) Board of Education, Roderick Jackson is back in court asking for a 45-day extension.

You might have thought that Roderick Jackson's 2005 U.S. Supreme Court victory over the Birmingham (Ala.) Board of Education in a gender-equity retaliation case would keep the Title IX crusader out of court for a while. But just three months after a U.S. District Court monitor reported that Jackson's settlement agreement in the case was "very nearly resolved," Jackson was back, asking a U.S. District Court judge to grant at least a 45-day extension of its jurisdiction over the agreement, which expired April 16.

At issue this spring is the status of the new girls' soccer team at Jackson-Olin High School (into which Ensley High School, Jackson's employer in the original case, has since merged). In late March, Jackson, currently that team's coach, received word that the school was recommending the team be disbanded and Jackson's stipend revoked because of girls' lack of interest in joining the team. Jackson and the school agree that 37 girls expressed an interest in playing soccer in a survey, and that 13 had been practicing with the team. However, new school rules preventing girls from playing more than one spring sport left just four girls eligible to participate.

Jackson says the impasse was caused by the school administration's fondness for red tape; the school says the problem is Jackson. The request for further court guidance, the school said, was "yet another attempt to exercise what [Jackson] considers to be his carteblanche [sic] employment privileges with the Board, regardless of whether he performs any duties or whether there are enough eligible players to form a team."

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