California School District Wins Battle For Equality in Girls' Sports
The Pasadena Unified School District agreed to a settlement over a Title IX claim on Thursday, after the District’s PasadenaLEARNs program was shown to be offering athletic opportunities to middle school boys and not to girls. Per the settlement, the District has agreed to offer soccer and basketball to girls, with the possibility of adding girls’ volleyball in the fall.
“I was disappointed when I found out that I couldn’t play basketball because there was no girls' team”, said Sophie Lindsay, a Pasadena Unified student. “Playing sports is important to me, and I couldn’t believe that my only option was to cheer for the boys.”
The discrimination is surprising, considering Title IX has been in effect for 42 years.
“PasadenaLEARNs is advertised as including a ‘co-ed’ sports league and now comes closer to living up to this promise,” said Elizabeth Kristen, Senior Staff Attorney with the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center.
Jayma Meyer of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP added, “We know that girls who participate in sports at an early age are more likely to be successful in school and in their careers. The expansion of the PasadenaLEARNs program promises to set up a new generation of girls to succeed in their educational and athletic careers.”