- Associated Press - Monday, December 12, 2016

KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) - A review of the Ketchikan High School’s activities program has found no federal Title IX violations, but the school will still likely change how it operates district activities.

The district undertook the review after parents complained that girls’ sports were receiving fewer opportunities than boys’ activities, The Ketchikan Daily News reported (https://bit.ly/2hfue2s ).

“I’m happy to know that we’re not in violation of any Title IX issues, obviously because it’s a legality situation there I’m really glad to know that we’re at least not violating the law in any way,” said Principal Bob Marshall.

A parent’s group called Students First suggested that the all-female volleyball program had been discriminated against in favor of boys’ sports.

Discrimination based on gender is banned by Title IX, a section of federal law that applies to all educational institutions that receive federal funding.

The district’s review, led by Ketchikan School District Curriculum Director Shannon Sines and Rick Rafter, director of human resources, found that the girls’ volleyball program had not been discriminated against, but that there are structural changes the district can undertake to change its activities program.

“We took a Title IX compliance checklist process that’s offered up by the Title IX programs, and we went through it and made a good-faith effort to comply all the way through it,” Boyle said.

The district’s review concluded that girls’ volleyball and other sports tracked equally in terms of locker rooms, access to equipment and funding, and athlete representation in male and female sports.

Some of Students First’s complaints were substantiated, but they didn’t constitute Title IX violations. A complaint that the district had purchased uniforms without consulting volleyball coaches or players was accurate, but the funding for the purchase was covered by the district and not the volleyball program.

As a result of the investigation, the school will be creating policies that allow parents, administrators and coaches to be informed about program requirements.

Boyle said he intends to pursue policies that would result in more regular communication between coaches and school administration and more oversight of activities programs.

That likely will mean annual, required meetings between coaching staff, athletes, parents and district administration to review policies ranging from health and safety to fundraising limitations.

The School Board is set to discuss the investigation and report at its meeting on Wednesday.


Information from: Ketchikan (Alaska) Daily News, https://www.ketchikandailynews.com

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