Feds clear Orange schools in Title IX complaint

Posted April 28, 2010

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— Federal officials have closed a complaint alleging that Orange County Schools was shortchanging girls athletic teams by providing less aid to their coaches than to coaches of boys teams, according to the district.

The U.S. Office for Civil Rights investigated gender equity in the district's athletics programs for 18 months before finding a complaint about the girls athletics programs to be groundless, officials said.

“I can’t imagine any school system in America going through an investigation this intensive and coming out with a cleaner bill of health,” Superintendent Patrick Rhodes said in a statement. “We are very pleased with the results. We just wish it hadn’t taken so long to reach a conclusion we were confident would be made.”

The complaint stemmed from the firing of Cedar Ridge High School volleyball coach Laurie Calder-Green in October 2008 after she yelled and swore at players. She remained as girls basketball coach and as an English teacher at the school.

Parents claimed in the complaint that Orange County Schools discriminated against high school girls and their coaches by paying the coaches less, providing less qualified coaches and not working to recruit and retain their coaches, when compared to coaches of the boys’ teams.

Federal investigators reviewed the athletic programs at both Cedar Ridge High and Orange High School and found them to be in full compliance with the requirements of Title IX, which requires gender equity in all educational programs, officials said.

In addition to coaching, the investigators looked at the availability of medical personnel and assistants for boys and girls teams; health, accident, and insurance coverage; the availability and quality of weight training facilities; the availability and quality of conditioning facilities; and the availability and qualifications of athletic trainers.

“We note that the complainant disagrees with the district’s termination of a particular coach. However, termination of one coach is an insufficient basis on which to find that the district has denied girls equitable opportunities with respect to coaching, and there is no other evidence that supports such a finding,” investigators wrote in their final report.

In fact, investigators found that the only statistical disparity favored girls teams in 2007-08, when their coaches were paid more than coaches of boys teams when compared to the proportion of students participating in athletics by gender, excluding football. They noted, though, that this disparity didn't deny boys equal athletic opportunities.

Investigators also found that the ratio of coaches to athletes in both 2007-08 and 2008-09 favored girls teams, but again, the disparity didn't result in the denial of equal athletic opportunities for boys.

“This confirms that our athletic programs are doing remarkably well in assuring equitable treatment under Title IX, and that our continued commitment to gender equality has resulted in athletics programs that are in full compliance with federal law," Tony McKnight, vice chairman of the Orange County Board of Education, said in a statement. "We will continue to work hard to ensure that all of our programs provide equal opportunities for our students.”


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  • epwolf77 Apr 29, 2010

    Too bad WRAL isn't capable of completely investigating a story before they publish it. They might have taken the time to read the entire letter from OCR and they might have gone through the trouble of contacting a person (13 signatures on original complaint) that filed the complaint to get the other side. The letter had qualifiers such as 'based on provided information'. Orange County Schools refused to provide ALL of the data requested by OCR,information that had been requested last summer was, by March of 2010, still NOT provided. That is what OCR based its findings on. If Patrick Rhodes wants to brag about getting a clean bill of health; fine, let him. The current board of education and its superintendent have been living in their own fantasy world. When "all" of the evidence is finally examined, only then will the young women of Orange County have equity.

  • HM_Stitches Apr 28, 2010

    ok so what the main point was that ms.CG got fired for no reason

  • beachlvr0804 Apr 28, 2010 need to spend some "real" time in a high school. You have no clue.....

  • tatermommy52 Apr 28, 2010

    There has to be discrimination because its in Orange County.

  • wralgolo2 Apr 28, 2010

    Santa and the Easter Bunny arent real either ...

    Say it ain't so.

  • bluetarheel21 Apr 28, 2010

    Okay so to all that didnt "realize" this sort of thing was going on in high school sports, I hate to break your heart but Santa and the Easter Bunny arent real either ...

  • WXYZ Apr 28, 2010

    Hmmm...Title IX, EEOC, Affirmative Action, Diversity...who are the beneficiaries and who are the victims? Hint: "Women seek not equality, for they know that is impossible; nay, they seek sovereignty, for they truly believe that is inevitable".

  • TheseBootsWereMadeForWalking Apr 28, 2010

    Taking sports out of HS is a ridiculous idea. In the right environment being involved in athletics teaches sportsmanship, good communication, and good physical wellness. Maybe some of these lazy kids playing computer and video games all the time need a taste of real physical activity.

    If not for sports, I would have failed HS b/c I had to make good grades in order to play.

  • AnotherIgnoredComment Apr 28, 2010

    Nobody ever watches girls sports programs, why should they get equal funding? They should be taking home ec or something like that. When people quit whining about equality, there will not be anymore inequality.

    Actually in High School they do. Its after that when its starts to divide. If you look at attendence at girls basketball and boys basketball, its pretty much the same, parents attend to support their kids and other family and friends. College changes that. Same with the band. Half of the people at a football game are there to see the kids in the band, that changes in college.....its called life

  • AnotherIgnoredComment Apr 28, 2010

    our football coach taught biology, another weightlifting, depends on their degree....regardless they are hired for a job, you don't like it, go get a phys ed degree and teach pe to HS kids....see if you think its easy