Four Boys In Garner Fighting To Be On Girls' Softball Team
Posted February 18, 2002 3:33 a.m. EST
GARNER, N.C. — Title IX is designed to give females more opportunities in sports, but what if the cleat was on the other foot and a boy wanted to try out for a women's team? The situation is happening at a middle school in Garner.
Josh Godbold, 14, loves baseball, but East Garner Middle School does not have a team for boys, so he wanted to try out for the girls' team but was shut out by the principal.
"It made me feel like I was being excluded from school sports because of my sex," he said.
"I think he should be allowed. They allow girls to play sports that boys prodominantly play, but they won't let him play a female sport," said Ricky Godbold, Josh's father.
An amendment to the Civil Rights Act passed in 1972 called Title IX protects girls' rights to participate in sports.
"There are some situations where girls can play boys' sports, but boys cannot play girls' sports," said Bobby Guthrie, athletic director for Wake County Schools.
Guthrie said under Title IX, allowing boys to try out for girls' teams is unfair because it means some girls will not get a spot on the team.
"We feel like that if we allowed boys to go out for a girls' team, that would take away from the girls' opportunities," he said.
The boys have started a petition circulating, signed by several members of the girls' softball team. Administrators said the situation is fair. The principal of the school said he will not rule out adding a boys' baseball team at some point.
East Garner Middle School does have a female player who plays both offense and defense on the boys' football team.