Gender Discrimination Lawsuit Filed Against Fayetteville Public Schools

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) – A gender discrimination lawsuit was filed against the Fayetteville School District on Monday (July 14) on behalf of three softball players who claim they were denied equal treatment and benefits because of their gender.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, states that the Fayetteville School District violated Title IX of the education amendment of 1972 and the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Multiple parents filed the court documents on behalf of their daughters. In total, three softball players are included in the lawsuit, and all three are minors.

According to the lawsuit, the Fayetteville School District discriminated against its softball players in the following areas:

  • Funding of athletics
  • Provision of equipment and supplies
  • Scheduling of games and practice times
  • Assignment and compensation of coaches
  • Opportunities to receive coaching
  • Provision of locker rooms and facilities for both practice and competition
  • Provision of training facilities and services
  • Publicity

One of the specific complaints in the lawsuit relates to the scheduling for practices. The baseball team and other boys’ athletic programs are provided a “5th period” athletic hour for training. This same training time is not available to softball players, the lawsuit states. Baseball players are also given opportunities for out of state competitions, while the softball players are not, according to court documents.

Another complaint detailed in the lawsuit is that the baseball team has three coaches, and the softball team only has one. This leads to not as many girls getting to participate in the sport because the one coach cannot handle multiple teams on his own.

The lawsuit also states that the baseball team has access to superior locker rooms and competition facilities.

In response to the alleged gender discrimination, the parents filing the lawsuit have requested the following:

  • That a judge enter an order declaring that the Fayetteville School District engaged in a continuing pattern and practice of discrimination against female students
  • A permanent injunction be issued restraining the school district from continuing to discriminate on the basis of gender and to correct discrimination issues currently in place
  • An expedited hearing and ruling be granted to the softball players in the lawsuit
  • That the softball players in the lawsuit be awarded monetary relief as permitted under Title IX and other applicable laws

To read the full lawsuit, click here.

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