Suit claims fe­male ath­letes get un­equal treat­ment

The Maui News - - TODAY’S PEOPLE -

HONOLULU (AP) — The Amer­i­can Civil Lib­er­ties Union of Hawaii has filed a fed­eral class-ac­tion law­suit on be­half of two fe­male high school ath­letes, claim­ing they are be­ing un­equally treated based on their gen­der.

The law­suit filed Thurs­day against the state Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion and the Oahu In­ter­scholas­tic As­so­ci­a­tion claims the ath­letes at James Camp­bell High School “ex­pe­ri­ence grossly un­equal treat­ment, ben­e­fits and op­por­tu­ni­ties in re­la­tion to male ath­letes.”

The Oahu high school does not have a locker room fa­cil­ity for fe­male ath­letes, so the girls must find al­ter­na­tive places to change into uni­forms, like teach­ers’ clos­ets, re­strooms at fast food restau­rants or on the field, ac­cord­ing to the suit. To use the re­stroom, they must run back to the cam­pus gym, use “de­crepit Porta-Pot­ties” or go be­hind the bushes.

The suit also points out sev­eral other dis­par­i­ties be­tween male and fe­male ath­letes, in­clud­ing game sched­ul­ing, travel op­por­tu­ni­ties, sports pro­mo­tion and fund­ing for coach­ing.

The state Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion was in­formed decades ago that it was not in com­pli­ance with Ti­tle IX, the fed­eral law bar­ring gen­der dis­crim­i­na­tion.

“The DOE said it was work­ing to close those gaps. But what fol­lowed was four decades of de­lay in pro­vid­ing fe­male ath­letes with treat­ment, ben­e­fits, and op­por­tu­ni­ties equal to those re­ceived by male ath­letes as re­quired by Ti­tle IX,” the law­suit said.

The DOE de­clined to com­ment, cit­ing pend­ing lit­i­ga­tion.

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