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Civil rights complaint filed against Hillsborough school

Posted November 25, 2008
Updated November 26, 2008

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— The Office for Civil Rights is investigating Cedar Ridge High School in Hillsborough.

A group of parents filed the complaint that alleges the district discriminates on the basis of sex because coaches of girls' teams receive lesser pay than coaches of boys' teams, are less qualified than coaches of boys' teams, and the district makes less of an effort to recruit and retain coaches of girls' teams than coaches of boys' teams.

It also alleges female athletes have less access than do male athletes to medical and training facilities and services, especially the weight room and athletic trainers.

“I not only want my daughter to have the ability to participate in the woman's athletics program in high school, but every parent that has joined me in this complaint, to the Office of Civil Rights, also wants their daughters to have the same opportunities that the young men have,” parent Elisabeth Penland said.

Some parents and students were upset with the school's administrators when in October Laurie Calder-Green was removed from her coaching duties after she reportedly yelled and swore at players. She remains as chair of the school's English Department.

In a written statement, the school district's spokesperson said the district could not comment on the matter.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • ERAWoman Nov 27, 2008

    Bottom line people - this isn't about morals or rules for that matter! It's about Federal Rights - and those of the women and young women of Orange County have been violated. Thank you to lindam, timbo, burninupdamound21 and others who understand and support this cause. To the one who thought the daughter got court time because she was the coaches daughter - you've obviously never watched her play or payed attention. She earned her place on the floor, just like every other young woman out there. I would love to see the mayhem that would have followed the advent of the 'football' coaches getting fired during the season. That of course, the superintendent would have never even considered. There is a bigger picture here and it's going to take the federal government to stop the closet communists from denying our rights.

  • lindam Nov 26, 2008

    Third, whatever happens, I hope someday this story will be written. I like to think that one of these girls will tell it in a best-seller. How their coach was the total be all end all. How tough she was, how she gave so much, how the other teams would be in awe of her and what we had. How she made it all about them, about the team, about how important it was to have a goal and to work for what you wanted. How, as hard as it was, it was even that much more rewarding, how you knew you had been touched by greatness. How you came away knowing that she loved you, she cared about YOU as a person, and she showed you how to give your all for what you thought was important. Yes, life will go on and these girls will always have in them what they learned from LCG.

    I'd like to thank all the folks that have taken an interest in our story. There are some very strong young women involved here. Stay tuned …

  • lindam Nov 26, 2008

    Second, regarding the perpetuation of the charge by WRAL.com that Coach "reportedly yelled and swore at players," this is not only unjustified but also absurd. Show me a coach that does not yell. Yes, she yelled at them. She taught them discipline and teamwork and told them not just what they had done wrong but what they needed to do right. Swore at them? No. Just not true. Did anybody reading this click on the link that took you to her English Department page? LOL – I recall hearing one of the kids who stood outside in support when the BOE was packed with protesters when we first heard this charge: 'that's just too funny, LCG doesn't need profanity; she can say it in a hundred different words without cussing' And that is SO true …

  • lindam Nov 26, 2008

    First, the WRAL.com headline to the story is inaccurate and misleading – the complaint filed under Title IX with the Office of Civil Rights is neither "against the school system" nor "over Coach's firing." The complaint is specifically against Mr. Rhodes, the superintendent, and Mr. Halkiotis, as the chair of the Board of Education. The complaint also addresses not only the wrongful dismissal of Coach Calder-Green, but also the irreparable damage done to the CRHS program that she had built and the loss to the young women who stood to gain from their hard work as part of it. Further, specific charges are detailed within the complaint regarding the actions of the Superintendent to repeatedly circumvent the hiring of a qualified coach for the women's basketball program. The OCE will conduct a full investigation and issue a report. (YES! Bring it on.)

  • lindam Nov 26, 2008

    There are a lot of false accusations and flat-out wrong statements throughout this story and these comments. I have observed first-hand the events that are being discussed so it is with that knowledge that I wish to make my observations. It would be my hope that this forum could be place for respectful opinions to be exchanged.

  • sd Nov 26, 2008

    timbo, i'm saying that the suit is spiteful b/c it has absolutely nothing to do with the firing. she wasn't fired b/c she's a woman. she lost her coaching position b/c she did something that she obviously violated a rule or ethical standard. just b/c other coaches yell and swear at their players doesn't justify her doing so.

    say i'm at a red light, and the girl in the car in front of me runs the light. since she gets away with it, i decide to do the same thing. all of a sudden, a siren blares behind me and i get pulled. i'm not going to sue the cop for being sexist b/c he let the girl in front of me get away with it. there's no argument there. i broke the law, i got caught, and i have to face the consequences. shouldn't it end there?

  • She Deserves It Nov 26, 2008

    "she was fired not only because they falsely accused her of yelling and cussing, but these parents and their poor little children didn't get enough playing time and they were scared that the little babies would not get to play at all..."


    I'm sure you got your share of playing time, being her daughter and all. And I'm certain you have heard her yell and cuss. Let's be honest here.

  • jlh4jdj Nov 26, 2008

    By the way I told my team I was sorry I let that word slip out.

  • jlh4jdj Nov 26, 2008

    Ok, I don't know all the facts. I will say this that cursing is not allowed at school. Sports are a part of the school. I actually have wondered why coaches in the past have been allowed to curse. If a coach were to let a word slip in a moment then I can understand but some coaches I have known don't seem to know any other word. I will say this I have been coaching two sports now for five years (public schools) and I know they have been cracking down on this. I can honestly say that I have not seen more than five times that a coach cursed. So everyone on here saying that it is common place, it is not. I am there and know. I have let one word slip one time,when I seperated my sholder. Plus, now days school systems have to worry about law suites. All it takes is one person.

  • daMoFo Nov 26, 2008


    Is your problem with the Superintendent that he is a pig or a male? I'm curious, what does sugar coating have to do with profanity? Do you associate cursing with being tough and strong like so many other people do these days? If you do, you are quite naive.

    The two toughest people I ever knew were a Catholic priest that spent 12 years in a Chinese prison camp in the 50's and a Albanian man that spent 7 years in a communist prison in the late 60's. They knew life was not sugar coated as they had experienced the absolute worst of human misery and had more inner strength than 1,000 other people combined and yet I never heard either of them curse.