A 1997 lawsuit charging 11 Orlando, Florida, high schools with violating Title IX, a 1972 law that prohibits discrimination against girls and women in federally funded education, including athletics programs, will return to court this week with two of the 11 high schools still breaking the law. The suit arose in 1997 after complaints by students that the girls’ softball teams at 11 Orlando high schools had to play on off-campus fields peppered with litter, and in facilities that offered dirty bathrooms and sub-standard dugouts, while the boys’ baseball teams enjoyed fields on-campus with water coolers and lights for night games. The judge’s ruling in 1997 required the schools to improve girls’ sports facilities, providing clean bathrooms, sturdy bleachers and lights on the field. After three years, Titusville High School and Astronaut High School have yet to comply with the judge’s ruling. The same judge, Justice Anne C. Conway, will rule in the case this week and could require the two high schools to spend as much as $250,000 to improve girls’ sports facilities.
Media Resources: Associated Press – November 2, 2000; Feminist Majority Foundation