Department of Education Resolves Title IX Investigation of Oregon School District | Athletic Business

Department of Education Resolves Title IX Investigation of Oregon School District

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The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced Nov. 4 the resolution of a complaint alleging inequitable athletics access for girls with respect to locker rooms, practice, and competitive facilities; equipment and supplies; and the opportunity to receive coaching at a high school in Salem-Keizer School District in Oregon.

During the investigation of this complaint, OCR received information that boys' baseball at a district school has superior playing fields, dugouts, bullpens, fencing, landscaping, bleachers, batting cages, and storage compared to what is provided for girls' softball and that boys' baseball players have access to a team room, whereas girls' softball players do not. OCR also received information that the district provides boys' baseball teams with superior and newer uniforms than the district provides for girls' softball teams.

Finally, OCR received information reflecting that the girls' softball teams also have less opportunity to receive coaching as compared to the boys' baseball teams because the girls' softball head coach does not receive a prep period to prepare the fields immediately before practices and games, but the boys' baseball head coach does receive such a prep period.

To resolve this investigation, the district agreed to conduct assessments of the facilities, equipment and supplies, and opportunities to receive coaching provided to the boys' and girls' interscholastic athletic teams at the school to ensure that members of both sexes are provided with equivalent benefits, opportunities, and treatment.

Based on the district's assessment, the agreement requires that the district create and implement a corrective action plan to remedy any identified inequities between girls' and boys' interscholastic athletic teams at the school with respect to the areas of concern identified.

"As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Title IX this year and the progress that continues nationally to ensure all students have equal opportunities to participate in athletic activities, Salem-Keizer School District No. 24J commits to important steps today to support girls' athletics on an equal basis with boys'," said Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon.

The district's commitments in the voluntary resolution agreement include: 

  • Conducting an assessment of the locker rooms, practice, and competitive facilities used by all boys' and girls' interscholastic teams at the school to ensure that boys and girls are provided with equivalent benefits, opportunities, and treatment with respect to the provision of locker rooms, practice, and competitive facilities.
  • Conducting an assessment of the equipment and supplies used by all boys' and girls' interscholastic teams at the school to ensure that girls and boys are provided with equivalent benefits, opportunities, and treatment with respect to equipment and supplies.
  • Conducting an assessment of coaching available to the boys' and girls' interscholastic athletic teams at the school to ensure that girls and boys are provided with equivalent benefits, opportunities, and treatment with respect to the opportunity to receive coaching.
  • Creating a corrective action plan to address any inequities that the district identifies following the completion of these assessments. And,
  • Implementing its corrective action plan to resolve any inequities the district has identified.

The letter to Salem-Keizer School District No. 24J is available here and the voluntary resolution agreement is available here.

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