California Educator

February 2015

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Page 39 of 67

P H O T O G R A P H Y B Y S C O T T B U S C H M A N Employment Law Center, who has represented female athletes in Title IX lawsuits throughout California. For example, Castle Park High School in Chula Vista failed to provide equal participation opportunities for girls and equal treatment of girls' teams, and retaliated against the female ath- letes whose parents and coach complained by firing the coach. Kristen represented the female athletes and is proud the court ruled in their favor in 2012 and upheld the ruling this year. It was the first successful challenge to Title IX athletics compli- ance at the high school level. Most U.S. schools are not complying with the law, opines Arthur H. Bryant, executive director of Public Justice. A complaint filed last year with the U.S. Department of Justice alleges more than 120 California institutions are failing to provide sufficient athletic opportunities for women and the government is doing nothing about it. Kristen is "discouraged" that basic rights for females in the education system still require litigation after all these years. "What Title IX really says is that we need to make sure that all students are entitled to receive a quality education," says Kristen. "If all educators share this perspective, we can all be on the same side and work together. My advice to schools is to be proactive, make sure your policies are up to date and ensure your campus Title IX coordinator is well-educated about the law. It's the best thing you can do to avoid being on the other side of a lawsuit." Kenyatta Scott coaches soccer players Eymi Sis, Astrid Argueta and Maria Ramo. The girls have never heard of Title IX and were surprised to learn that school sports were mostly for boys just a few decades ago. 38 Feature

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