The Spiro High School boys’ baseball team was banned from their locker room because of allegations the school did not offer similar facilities for the girls’ softball team. Although a lawsuit still looms, the team was let back into the locker room this week.
The school currently has a Title IX law suit against the team. Title IX is a law to ensure equality in sports. One parent filed the lawsuit due to the lack of a facility for a softball team at the high school.
Once the Superintendent, Don Atkinson, got word of improvements being made in the locker room, he took pictures of the new locker room and showed them to his lawyer, according to Frankie Soloman, a parent and booster club member.
Soloman said his son texted him Feb. 28, saying they were no longer allowed to use the locker room.
Soloman and Russell Wilson, another parent, went to meet with the superintendent regarding the issue.
Soloman said the superintendent told him, “Since the booster club had made improvements to the locker room that they were no longer going to allow the baseball boys to use the locker room.”
According to Soloman, he was told that if changes hadn’t been made to the locker room, the players could still use it, but with the new changes, it could cause issues with their ongoing legal case.
“My question to him was why was this done instead of doing what’s right for the girls,” said Soloman.
Soloman later called the softball parent with the lawsuit and explained what was going on with the baseball team.
The parent’s lawyer sent a letter to the superintendent stating the improved locker room would not effect their suit, according to Soloman. The boys were allowed back access to their facilty Thursday (March 6).
Wilson said he was happy they confronted the superintendent on his decision to take the locker room away.
“We’ve got to do what’s right for our kids as a whole, whether it’s sports or education. I mean, we’re in this for the kids,” said Wilson.
The superintendent was not available for a comment, and the 5NEWS team was not allowed access to the renovated locker room.
Both parents said this issue shed light on what the softball team parents are going through, and they believe the school should do what is right.