Parents of three high school softball players in Fayetteville, Ala., filed a Title IX lawsuit alleging the school district of Fayetteville High School favors boys teams.
The lawsuit claims the boys athletic teams receive better funding, equipment, scheduling, locker rooms, training facilities, publicity and more experience and higher paid coaches.
The parents want compensation for money they had to spend of sports equipment and supplies they were required to buy. They allege the district is hurting their daughters’ chances to get college scholarships for their sports.
The lawsuit highlights eight main complaints, some of which are access to locker rooms, practice and competition facilities.
The lawsuit also claims that male athletes were able to work with the baseball coach during two athletic periods during the school day while the softball players only had access to their coach during one period.
Additionally, the softball team has one paid coach, while the baseball team has three paid coaches and the football program has more than a dozen paid coaches. The lawsuit says the district has higher standards for coaches on the boys’ teams.
The Fayetteville superintendent wrote an email responding to the lawsuit saying, “Our facilities for both boys and girls are outstanding and reflect our district’s commitment to equity. We believe the quality of our athletic programs for both male and female athletes will be fully demonstrated in the pending court action.”
Sam Schiller, the attorney of one of the parents, estimates the case will take between a year and 18 months to resolve. He specializes in Title IX cases and says that his firm gets hundreds of inquiries, requiring him to be selective on which cases he takes.
“The decision on which case to take is an art and not a science. There were a number of things that stand out in this case. There are issues of equality of what the girls are provided compared to the boys.”