Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Lawsuit filed today against FHSAA


A lawsuit filed by a gender equity group Tuesday in Jacksonville alleges the Florida High School Athletic Association violated Title IX and discriminated against female student-athletes when it decided to trim the high school sports schedules.
---- Florida Parents for Athletic Equity alleges the cuts, which were approved in April by the association’s board of directors and reduced varsity sports by 20 percent and subvarsity sports by 40 percent, were biased because they excluded football and cheerleading.
---- The exclusion of cheerleading doesn’t equal the playing field, the group contests, because according to the complaint, over 36,000 boys played football in 2007-08 while 4,310 girls and 210 boys were involved in varsity cheerleading.
---- And the group doesn’t view cheerleading as a sport because it doesn’t feature district and regional tournaments, and teams need just four sideline performances to compete for a state championship.
---- The FPAE wants to see the cuts rescinded or made more equitable, and cheerleading to be conducted in the same manner as other FHSAA sports. Nancy Hogshead-Makar, a Jacksonville attorney and representative for the group, said if an injunction was granted and the reductions were frozen, schools would be given enough time to adjust their schedules.
---- Waiting to file the suit wouldn’t give schools enough time to alter their schedules.
---- “You know that old saying — justice delayed is justice denied,” Hogshead-Makar said. “We said if (the board of directors) would have scheduled an emergency meeting on June 26th, we wouldn’t sue. But if they call a meeting on July 16th, then we’re out on our heels and flat on our feet.”

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