Parents in New Berlin, Wisconsin filed a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights last week alleging that inferior facilities for female athletes, as well as other inequities in athletics at Eisenhower High School, violate Title IX. Primarily, the parents complain that the pool facility used by the girls’ swim and dive team is deteriorating, while the boys’ team swims at a better facility located at another school in the district. The district recently funded an upgrade to the football facility of comparable cost to what it would take to renovate the pool, and provides a state-of-the-art facility to the boys wrestling team.
According to this article, the parents filed a similar complaint against the New Berlin school district last year, which resulted in an agreement by the district to conduct an audit of the swim facility and to replace certain equipment in order to ensure gender equity. Parents say this second complaint was necessary because the school district has not honored the terms of that agreement. The complaint also alleges that the school district has been stonewalling the pool upgrade project by proposing more expensive renovations than necessary, banking on the fact that the community would balk at the high price tag.
Other inequities alleged include inequitable locker room space and a booster club structure that gives an advantage to the “Friday night lights” sports of football and boys basketball.
The Office for Civil Rights will now decided whether to investigate the complaint.