UNC Sports Law Professor Barbara Osborne, whose “research focuses on legal issues in intercollegiate athletics and gender discrimination in sport,” made this observation in regard to gender issues discussed at one recent school board meeting. “Sports teach people teamwork, sportsmanship, persistence and how to rise above failure, and they lead to a real edge in the workplace,” she said. “To not offer girls the same opportunities that boys have to learn those same things in sports harms girls from being competitive in society.”
The gender issue in this case was presented to the Collierville school system in Tennessee by a group of parents and former graduate, Paige Eubank. At question was the treatment of girls in sports. The district’s schools were “unfairly favoring boys’ athletics.” As a result, the school board immediately formed a committee to investigate matters.
At the heart of Eubank’s contention were the requirements of “Title IX, a 1972 measure that aims to prohibit sex discrimination in programs and activities at institutions that receive federal funding. The law covers various programs, including sports.”
Eubank’s father, Jay, made it plain to the board that the complaint was not intended to cause legal action, rather to raise awareness and set standards that the community as a whole would support.
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