For Equity vs. The Michigan High School Athletic Association
has appealed the verdict of the Federal district court in favor of CFE.
The appeal will be heard at the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati,
December 19, 2001, MHSAA was found guilty of gender discrimination against
the state's female high school athletes by assigning ONLY female athletes
to play in inferior athletic seasons.
has filed an appeal with the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Implementation
of the COURT-ORDERED compliance plan is “on hold” until a
decision on the appeal is made.
following organizations filed “friend of the court” briefs
Communities for Equity and the District Court’s
The United States of America (through the Department of Justice)
American Association of University Women
ACLU and the Michigan Civil Liberties Union
Connecticut’s Women’s Education and Legal Fund
Equal Rights Advocates
Feminist Majority Foundation
Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund
National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium
National Association for Sport and Physical Education
National Education Association
National Partnership for Women and Families
Northwest Women’s Law Center
NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund
Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia
Women’s Law Project
The following organizations filed briefs supporting MHSAA’s effort
to overturn the District Court’s decision:
Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association
ruling on the appeal is expected in 2004. If the District Court’s
decision is upheld by the Sixth Circuit the realignment of seasons (according
to MHSAA’s compliance plan) could occur in the 2005-2006 school year.
Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals
Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association
Michigan Association of School Boards
Michigan High School Coaches Association
Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan
Michigan High School Tennis Coaches Association
Michigan Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association
PLAYING FAIR AND WHO’S NOT
CFE is currently looking into the level of
Title IX compliance amongst Michigan's high schools, district by district.
This is a cooperative effort with the schools, but one with definite follow-up.
We will initially contact the schools within each district and ask them
to provide answers and data for a few specific questions. After we receive
the information and compile the data, we will provide the results to the
schools and their communities.
pilot program and current funding is for Kent County only, but CFE’s
goal is to conduct the investigation for every school district in the
state of Michigan – all 50+ of them and the nearly 500 high schools
within those districts. The estimated cost per district is $5,000. We
are launching a three year campaign to accomplish this goal with yearly
goals of $83,500 for the first two years and then $83,000 the final year.
program goal is to educate the public schools within the state and the
communities they serve as to what Title IX requires of them in order to
achieve equity in sports programs for girls, and to apply pressure to
ensure that compliance will be the rule rather than the exception. Because
CFE has no paid staff, the work will be done by part-time workers, hired
specifically for this project.
and KISD Work Together To Provide Title IX Officer Training
On November 12, 2003, Communities for Equity
and the Kent Intermediate School District (KISD) provided a two-hour workshop
for Kent County Title IX officers. Kristen Galles, a Title IX expert and
successful Title IX attorney was the presenter. Each attendee received
an extensive introduction into Title IX basics and the legal requirements
each school must address. Northview’s Title IX officer, Donna Host
provided insight into audits that have already been done and is willing
to share audits, surveys, and examples of compliance practices. Participant
evaluations will determine whether a follow-up workshop in “best
practices” may be of benefit. A special thanks to Mike Weiler, KISD
Superintendent and his staff, and Presto Print for donating the copying
of the Title IX manuals, and The National Women’s Law Center for
the “Check It Out” booklets received by each attendee.
: A YEAR in REVIEW
Communities for Equity board members have been
diligently involved in many events to educate others about Title IX and
to promote all aspects of athletic equity.
met with Michigan State School Board member Liz Bauer to discuss concerns
regarding gender equity and athletics.
board members met with Michigan Department of Education (MDOE) regarding
Title IX compliance.
board members addressed the KISD superintendents and advocated for Title
IX officer training & compliance audits.
board member spoke at the Young Women for Change fundraising luncheon
in Traverse City.
board members addressed the State School Board regarding Title IX compliance
board member participated in a panel discussion at Grand Valley State
University during National Women & Girls in Sports Day.
CFE board members met with Ed Fernandez (Fox 17) to discuss additional
coverage of girls’ athletics in the Grand Rapids area.
presented “Democracy In America” video at a Northview Board
of Education meeting. This video features CFE’s advocacy work
to eliminate gender discrimination in Michigan schools.
(Connie Engel) authored the first of many editorial features in Ponytail
board members presented “Title IX 101: Playing Fair” @ Aquinas
board member was the featured speaker @ West Michigan Volleyball Officials
board member was part of a panel discussion on Title IX & Athletics
at ACLU conference @ University of Michigan
board members presented Title IX: Playing Fair to Aquinas college class.
board members met with State Dept of Ed. & KISD personnel to plan
a Title IX workshop to train Title IX officers.
board member presented “Title IX: Playing Fair” as part
of a cooperative presentation at the Michigan Students Parents Teacher
Association in Lansing.
Title IX article written by Connie Engel was published in Ponytail magazine.
met with KISD and MDOE to plan Title IX training workshop.
attended a statewide meeting with Michigan Department of Education (MDOE),
American Association of University Women, (AAUW), Michigan Gender Equity
Team (MGET), National Organization of Women (NOW), and Michigan Dept.
of Justice to discuss the identification of and promotion of Title IX.
board members met with Tom Watkins, Superintendent of Public Instruction
& Chief of Staff, Pam Wong, to discuss Title IX officer training
and compliance issues.
Board member presented Title IX Playing Fair @ local chapter of AAUW.
Galles & Board members met with KISD Superintendents in Big Rapids
to discuss importance of Title IX compliance.
introduced its Advisory Board members at a reception at the Penn Club
in Grand Rapids.
board members arranged for first-ever Title IX training @ KISD with
Kristen Galles as instructor.
awarded Board member Jay Eveland with YWCA Tribute award. This was a
back-to-back award for CFE with Diane Madsen receiving this same award
board members participated in Grand Rapids Public School committee on
Improving Athletic Participation.
Title IX Status Report Campaign was announced.
board members participated in GRPS committee to improve athletic participation.
2nd Compliance Plan
In October of 2002,
the MHSAA filed a second compliance plan. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
has also granted the MHSAA a "stay" in the implementation until
the case is heard on appeal at the Circuit Court. Thus the implementation
of this plan will not go into effect until 2004-2005 at the earliest.
Change volleyball from winter to FALL
Change girls' basketball from fall to WINTER
Change girls' golf from spring to FALL
Change girls' tennis from fall to SPRING
Change boys' golf from fall to SPRING
Change boys' tennis from spring to FALL
Change girls' soccer to FALL
Change girls' volleyball from winter to FALL
Change girls' basketball from fall to WINTER
Change boys' soccer from fall to SPRING
from the Sunbelt
Last year Leslie Coulson, an attorney from Phoenix, Arizona, was looking
forward to returning to Michigan for a class reunion. She was excited
about meeting some of her old friends again and also wanted to get in
touch with her high school science teacher, Diane Madsen. While talking
with Diane before she arrived, she became acquainted with Communities
for Equity, our organization that advocates for equity for girls here
Leslie asked a million
questions and became enthralled with CFE's mission. It turns out her first
love is civil rights issues. She feels that depriving girls of the same
benefits in sports that boys receive is depriving them of their civil
Upon Leslie's arrival
in Michigan, she sought out Diane and wanted to meet as many CFE board
members as possible. Plus she brought us a surprise! She came bearing
a basketball with the signatures of the WNBA Phoenix Mercury basketball
team. It is housed in a glass display box with an inscription that reads:
for Equity With Admiration For All Of Your Efforts On Behalf of Michigan's
Young Female Athletes"
2002 Phoenix Mercury Basketball Team
The basketball signifies
all that is good about girls in sports and reaffirms our mission. When
most members of CFE were growing up in the 60's and 70's, there were no
women as role models for young girls in sports. Now there are high school,
college, and professional female athletes, and the option of fulfilling
one's dream as a participant is a reality for young women.
Leslie has become
an invaluable friend, still helping us long distance from Arizona. As
a great addition to our organization, she assisted members of CFE in creating
our first web page. Plus, she is our first official out-of-state member,
and we appreciate her dedication and support!
Leslie Coulson (holding