Touchdown for Title IX?

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Touchdown for Title IX?

This edit was made by the writer of this article, senior, Lauren Lindmeier.

This edit was made by the writer of this article, senior, Lauren Lindmeier.

Lauren Lindmeier

This edit was made by the writer of this article, senior, Lauren Lindmeier.

Lauren Lindmeier

Lauren Lindmeier

This edit was made by the writer of this article, senior, Lauren Lindmeier.

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Are you a student at a United States public school? Do you attend an American private school? Are you a female student? Are you a student-athlete? Do you participate in school-sponsored activities?

If you answered yes to any of the aforementioned questions then Title IX directly impacts you and your life in some way.

Title IX is the 1972 edition of the Education Amendments.  The purpose of this doctrine is to ensure gender equality in all aspects of federally funded education, according to the NCAA.

The official wording of Title IX is as follows:

“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

Many Americans have never been exposed to the term Title IX, especially high students that are currently experiencing the effects of Title IX. There are many sectors of education, particularly sports, that have been positively impacted by Title IX.  These improvements are noteworthy.

Erich Martens, executive director of the Minnesota State High School League put Title IX in his own words, “Title IX is a mandate that everyone should have equal opportunity, equal support, and equal representation…the statement that no one shall be discriminated or limited because of their gender applies in all cases in publicly funded programs and we cannot pick and choose when or if we follow it.”

The history of Title IX is relevant to its current state of use today. According to information published by History.com, Title IX was a long, fought over implication of federal civil rights laws. Before it was enacted into law, few opportunities existed for females to participate in extracurriculars, particularly sports. Title IX’s implication was intended to equalize all areas of education, however, athletics seem to take center stage. Title IX was put into full effect on June 23rd, 1972. Its intent was to correct the imbalances imposed on female students within the American school system.

The Save Title IX organization, notes that the purpose of the rule influences all educational programs that receive federal funding which include access to higher education, career education, education for pregnant and parenting students, employment, learning environment, math and science, sexual harassment, standardized testing and technology.

Although all parts of the Title IX doctrine are pertinent, athletics are a centrifugal force that gave the document substance in the American public.

Mr. Hauge, athletic director at SHS, “Title IX is an attempt of equality of men’s and women’s sports.” His quote proves the great emphasis on the sports aspect of Title IX.

The implication of this educational amendment is still an on-going process. NCAA cites the Title IX official document when addresses who the document applies to. Their certified website features an entire section devoted to this allusive law. It states Title IX directly encompasses all educational institutions that receive federal funding. In short, almost every school in America, from the elementary level to the university level, is subjected to follow Title IX.

The primary way many determine whether a school is meeting Title IX is through sports’ equity.

After an interview with Sartell High School’s Athletic Director, Mr. Hauge, Title IX is a document still in reference today, in Sartell High School as well as high schools across America. Martens also expressed that he and his the entire MSHSL office use the document regularly.

To some, Title IX has served its purpose and many female student-athletes are able to enjoy the sports they love.  Mr. Hauge being one of them: “Title IX accomplished the athletic atmosphere females get to enjoy today.”  Others disagree with such claims.

Title IX rule applies to sports in the following ways, in accordance with NCAA:

Participation: Women and men must be provided equitable opportunities to participate in athletics. It does not require equal sports to be offered, but it does require equal opportunities to play.                   

Scholarships: All student-athletes receive athletics scholarship dollars proportional to their participation.

Other benefits: Benefits experienced by student-athletes must be equal between males and females including equipment and supplies, scheduling of games and practice times, travel and daily allowance, access to tutoring, coaching, locker rooms, practice and competitive facilities, medical and training facilities and services, housing and dining facilities and services, publicity and promotions, support services and recruitment of student-athletes.

According to the United States Department of Labor website, the official publication of Title IX states that compliance with accordance is a shared responsibility of the entire institution. However, it explicitly states primary people who should be actively be referring to the Title IX doctrine. These people include but are not limited to athletic directors, members of a school’s legal counsel, compliance coordinators, and senior administrators.

Sartell’s AD references the Title IX document when adding sports, enhancing faculties and equipment. Mr. Hauge explained that Title IX is often used to accomplish agendas in the name of equality.

Mr. Hague addressed the question of Sartell’s acknowledgment of Title IX, “SHS is very aware of Title IX…and every decision made by the athletic department is extremely conscious, by ensuring all choices are Title IX equitable.”

After conducting several interviews with both female and male student-athletes, many feel their experiences, opportunities, and involvement has been equal to the athletes of their opposite sex.

Jessica Lemke, a senior who participates in diving, gymnastics, and golf said, “I am grateful for Title IX, although I was unaware of how important this amendment has proved to be in my own life.”

Through the surveying of 65 SHS students, a mere seven had a thorough understanding of Title IX. A more promising 14 of those surveyed had heard of the term Title IX prior to being questioned.

Title IX is heavily in use and has dictated the educational experience of the vast majority of American students today, most famously student-athletes. Martens supports this assessment, “Title IX has a constant presence in the work that we do at the MSHSL…we always consider both genders, the opportunities that they have as well as the financial resources that are allocated to the different programs.”

The question remains, has Title IX been a touchdown for female’s rights in the educational field or are there still more many yards to go in the name of gender equality? There are people who take very different sides on the possible touchdown of Title IX.

I believe it is currently the best time to be a female student-athlete.”

— Mr. Hauge

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