Evergreen School District in Washington State has reportedly entered into a voluntary resolution agreement with the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. Under the agreement, OCR agrees to suspend its investigation that was triggered this summer by a complaint that the school district favored boys baseball with better facilities, uniforms, and equipment as compared to softball. In particular, at two of the district’s high schools, the complaint alleged that the district had neglected to repair damage on the softball fields, that the fields lacked drainage and irrigation, as well as fences, batting and pitching machines and cages, and proximity to bathrooms and drinking water.
For its part, the school district agrees to assess its baseball and softball programs along these lines and to devise and implement an action plan to address any discrepancies that the assessment reveals — in other words, the school district agrees to do what Title IX already requires. The agreement provides deadlines by which the district shall accomplish these tasks, and affords OCR the opportunity to monitor and review the district’s efforts.