I cannot make this up; I simply cannot! Read this story, and shake your head. Here's a prime example of the old cliche' about the law being an ass. As always, my commentary is provided free of charge...
Earlier, Prep Rally brought you the story of Plymouth (Mich.) Salem High soccer coach Scott Duhl, who was allegedly fired over a parent complaint before the start of the season. Well, across town at Plymouth High in Canton, Mich., another complaint has the prep sports community as equally fired up.
You're going to love this-not!
Six years ago, parents of Plymouth High's boys' varsity team raised money and built stadium seating so they could watch from above a black chain-link fence that made spectating difficult, according to WJBK-TV. The parents also installed a new scoreboard for the baseball field.
Note two things here. One, the parents paid for these field improvements with their OWN money! Two, that this money is above and beyond the school taxes they already pay on their homes.
Now, the school must tear it all down. The U.S. Education Department's Office for Civil Rights opened an investigation following an anonymous complaint. Ultimately, officials demanded that the seating and scoreboard be torn down because the upgrades are superior to Plymouth's girls' softball facilities (pictured). The boys' seating is also not handicap accessible, which is a separate violation of government regulations.
Here we have a woman and feminist (redundant?) whinging that it's not fair that the boys' ball field has nicer seating-waaaaaaahhh! Never mind the fact that it was the boys' PARENTS who paid for it out of their own money. This is from the same Obama Administration that has an office for women and girls, yet has no equivalent for men. You have to love the hypocrisy here!
Plymouth High School superintendent Michael Meissen said the seats and scoreboard will be preserved until the district decides how to remedy the situation. Meissen told WJBK-TV that the school wants to follow the government's regulations and be "fair to everyone," but it does not have the funds to upgrade the girls' softball bleachers. The school reportedly plans to install a new scoreboard on the softball field, though.
Why should the school upgrade the girls' softball field bleacher seats? Why should they give the girls preferential treatment here? Why shouldn't the girls' PARENTS pay for improved seating, just like the boys' parents did? Finally, what would the US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights response be if the school upgraded the girls' field, when the boys field received no such largesse from the school? I think we all know the answer to that one, don't we?
There are obvious Title IX implications to this story, as federally funded schools are required to provide equal opportunity for both boys' and girls' sports. Forty-two years after the law was passed, schools and colleges across the country are still struggling to comply with the rules in the face of shrinking budgets. Plymouth joins a long list of schools that may be in violation of Title IX, whether they realize it or not.
Uh, pardon me, but what Title IX implications are there here? Does anyone care to explain THAT one to me? While the school itself may receive federal funding, the improvement to the boys' baseball field did not. Since the parents paid for the new seats and scoreboard themselves, does that not mean that no government funding (either federal, state, or local) was used?
Furthermore, how do spectator seats provide or diminish opportunity for sports participation?! Don't the girls have the opportunity to play softball if they are so inclined? Don't the boys have the opportunity to do likewise? After all, don't they each have ball fields on which they can play their respective sports? Pardon me, but how does Title IX even apply in this instance?!
Of course, there could be a quick resolution to this controversy. The girls' softball parents might also think about raising money to build their own stadium seating. It seemed to work for the boys' baseball parents for six years.
DING, DING, DING, DING, DING, DING, DING, DING! We have a winner! THAT is how this whole mess can be solved-provided the girls' parents are so inclined, of course. The fact that they haven't ponied up one, red cent for improved seating and scoreboards on the girls' softball field; the fact that they haven't done this over the preceding six years tells us all we need to know; it tells us that it isn't that important to the girls' parents-duh! Until next time...