Morgan Hill Unified School District in Santa Clara County, Calif., must give female athletes equivalent access to facilities, equipment, transportation and coaching as male athletes, according to a resolution agreement with the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights announced Thursday.
As reported by Diana Lambert of EdSource.org, the resolution agreement followed an investigation that found that female athletes did not have the same opportunities as male athletes when it came to equipment, scheduling of game times, travel, coaching, locker room and competitive facilities, medical and training facilities and publicity, according to a news release from the Office for Civil Rights.
“Today’s resolution with Morgan Hill Unified School District addresses the disparities in the quality and availability of benefits for female athletes that OCR observed in the athletics programs at Live Oak High School,” said assistant secretary for civil rights Catherine E. Lhamon, as reported by EdSource.org. “Morgan Hill Unified School District has committed now to provide all its students with equivalent access to athletic opportunities regardless of sex, as Title IX has long required.”
Morgan Hill Unified provided two fields for baseball and one for softball. The boys' varsity baseball field also had amenities that the softball field lacked, such as lighting, a scoreboard and a public address system, according to the news release. The boys' teams also had access to charter buses for transportation, while the girls' teams did not, according to evidence provided to the Office for Civil Rights.
There was concern that the girls' programs did not have the same quality equipment as the boys' programs and did not have equal access to the school’s weight room and athletic trainer, or to coaching, according to the release. Girls were also not given as much publicity on the school’s social media accounts. The district did not admit any wrongdoing in the settlement, Lambert reported.