Three Steps Anyone Can Take to Hold Schools and Universities Accountable on Title IX
I received strong – mostly positive – feedback on my column about the 50th anniversary of Title IX: “ Title IX at 50: Time to Celebrate and Rededicate.”
Most of the positive feedback centered around the list of three steps I included for pursuing action against a school or college that could be falling short of the requirements of Title IX.
For those that missed the original column, didn’t make it to the list section of the column, or just want a quick reference for potential Title IX action items that anyone can take to hold institutions accountable, I’m re-posting the list here:
Pressure the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to Aggressively Enforce Title IX and Improve Education Regarding the Law
The fact is, despite impressive gains, 50 years after Congress passed Title IX, women and girls continue to be denied equal opportunities to participate in athletics based on their gender. Moreover, when given the opportunity to compete, too often they aren’t given equitable resources relative to men and boys.
The OCR is the federal agency responsible for enforcing Title IX. In order to ensure equal opportunity in athletics, the OCR needs to vigorously enforce the implementation of Title IX at all levels of education.
More specifically, the OCR must be more proactive in initiating Title IX compliance reviews, and threatening the denial of Federal funding when necessary, in order to accelerate compliance with Title IX at the middle school, high school and college levels.
While the OCR has initiated some compliance reviews through the years, they have not initiated proceedings to withdraw federal funds from a high school or college for non-compliance with Title IX. Our country’s schools and colleges need to see clear repercussions for failing to comply with Title IX. A law can only be optimally effective if it is aggressively enforced.
Without an active OCR, individuals need to keep fighting for Title IX compliance. Women, and their supporters – male and female — across the country, have been very successful in fighting for female rights in the world of sports by filing civil rights complaints and lawsuits.
File a Title IX complaint With the Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
Here’s a link with information on how to file a Title IX complaint with the OCR.
If a filer prefers, complaints can be filed anonymously.
Once the complaint is filed, the OCR has a specified number of days to begin an investigation.
File an Open-Records Request for Male and Female Sports Opportunities and Expenditures in a High School’s Athletic Programs
The raw numbers make it easier to prove discrimination. Any advocate for equal opportunity in sports can pick a school or school district and file an open-records request for sports data. If it is found girls are being treated unequally, in addition to the OCR complaint, a Title IX complaint can be filed with the school, school district administration and local school board.
Together, let’s rededicate ourselves to pushing the country to complete adherence to the rules and requirements of Title IX.
—- Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
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Episode #28 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Chat With Mano Watsa, a Leading Basketball and Life Educator – Watsa is President of PGC Basketball, the largest education basketball camp in the world, with over 150 camps in 30+ U.S. states and Canada. We discuss problems in youth sports today, including single sport specialization, the growing gap between the “haves” and “have-nots,” the high drop-out rate in competitive sports, and the growing mental health challenges young athletes are dealing with today.
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Episode #27 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Kids’ Sports: How We Can Take Back the Game and Restore Quality Family Time In the Process – Linda Flanagan is author of “Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids’ Sports and Why It Matters.” We discuss how commercialized and professionalized youth sports are hurting kids and their families.
Episode #26 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Fix Youth Sports? – John O’Sullivan is Founder and CEO of Changing the Game Project and author of “Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to Our Kids.”
Episode #25 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Physical Education Should Be a Critical Component of K-12 School Design – Michael Horn is co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation.
Episode #24 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Mental Health and Athletes: Ending the Stigma – Nathan Braaten and Taylor Ricci are the founders of Dam Worth It, a non-profit created to end the stigma around mental health at colleges and universities through sport, storytelling, and community creation.
Episode #23 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Olympian Benita Fitzgerald Mosley Talks Title IX, Youth Sports and the Olympics.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- League of Fans Sports Policy Director Ken Reed quoted in Washington Post column titled "What happened to P.E.? It’s losing ground in our push for academic improvement," by Jay Mathews
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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