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School System Hit with Gender Discrimination Suit

Jason Scott

Three Alabama families have filed a lawsuit against Huntsville (Ala.) City Schools claiming that the discrepancy of funding and support between girls’ and boys’ athletics amounts to discrimination against their daughters.

The lawsuit, filed Oct. 28 by plaintiffs John and Karen White, Shawn and Lauren Anderson, and John G. Smith on behalf of their minor daughters, alleges Title IX violations on the basis of how girls’ athletic teams are treated by the school system.

The families say their daughters and softball players at Huntsville City Schools are discriminated against because they get less funding, less offseason training and fewer pre-game meals compared to boys’ teams.

In addition, the suit alleges that boys’ teams get access to superior equipment and facilities compared to girls’ teams. The suit mentions a mobile batting cage used by the boys that girls aren’t given equal access to, and describes the girls’ locker area as “an old trailer” without running water or working lights. According to WHNT, the girls’ field has less lighting and lacks secure storage space.

“Plaintiffs seek injunctive relief which, among other things, requires that defendants provide plaintiffs’ daughters with treatment and benefits equivalent to that provided to the boys’ athletic teams at Huntsville City Schools,” the lawsuit reads.

Huntsville City Schools issued a statement on Monday saying they have not had an opportunity to review the complaint, but assured that they intend to follow Title IX and other statutes.

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