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The Kentucky Board of Education is under fire recently as Dick Richards, a resident of Goshen, Ky., has filed a federal civil rights complaint against the organization.
Citing Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972, Richards maintains statewide discrimination against girls in high school sports is still a very real problem and one the board isn’t addressing.
After two appearances before the KBE in December of 2011 and February 2012 yielded no action, Richards decided to move forward with the filing.
In it, he notes an approximate 11,500 girls who are not receiving the same sports participation opportunities as their male counterparts as a result of the discrimination.
He also accuses the KHSAA, a KBE branch responsible for managing high school athletics, of “giving an institutional wink of approval” to offending schools and school districts.
One example he highlights is an excerpt from the organization’s own Title IX policy about the scheduling of prime time basketball games which requires only 40 percent of girls’ home basketball games to be on a prime date such as Friday night.
Policy like that, Richards said, encourages discrimination as long as it is subtle.
“The KHSAA has not acted to stop discrimination; it has acted only to stop blatant discrimination,” he noted in a press release. “There is no explanation, of why the KHSAA set the standard at 40 percent.”
Still, Richards noted that his goal is just for things to be equal.
“I think they’ve made some progress (in the past few years),” Richards noted, “but they just didn’t get it all the way done. The bottom line is that I had the benefits of playing sports when I was growing up and it was a very big positive for me and I would like for my daughters to have the same advantage.”
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