Title IX Provides Girls More Opportunities in Athletics
For the past few years, Title IX has been a big factor in AHS’ athletics. Title IX is an Education Amendment established in 1972 that prohibits discrimination based on sex. It guarantees that no students are excluded from or denied the benefits of any educational program or activity that is receiving federal financial assistance.
It has been required for many years by Title IX that boys’ and girls’ athletic programs have equal facilities, equal privileges and up to only a four percent difference between the total amount of male and female athletes in a sports team.
To comply with Title IX, the school has been looking for more female athletes to join athletic programs. In addition, Title IX essentially creates more opportunities for girls to play a sport or try out different sports to add to their high school experience.
“It does provide equal opportunity for everybody, which is a good thing [because] that is what education is about, providing an education and a positive experience in high school,” Athletic Director Gerald DeSantis said.
To accommodate for Title IX’s policies, the school has spent money to improve its facilities, such as adding a new weight room, increasing the number of girls’ locker rooms and renovating the softball field. Additional girls’ sports teams were also started so that girls would have the opportunity to join.
“We have expanded our opportunities for female athletes. We have added a new girls’ golf team and an additional girls’ volleyball team,” Assistant Principal of Business and Activities Jeremy Infranca said.
Although the main focus this year is to gain more female athletes and help them become more aware of the opportunities they have, male athletes have also been affected by the changes made due to Title IX. Some male athletes were not able to join a team due to an insufficient amount of female athletes. Other male athletes were cut from teams because there were not enough female athletes to balance them out.
“In the cross-country team, a lot of new-coming males, such as myself, were not accepted initially until we were able to get more girls to join the team,” cross- country member Jesse Portillo said.
The faculty and administration has been trying to get more girls interested in different athletic programs.
On Sept. 20, girls currently enrolled in physical education were given a presentation during their respective periods on the different sports programs available, as well as the benefits of being in a sport.
The administration’s goal this year is to have a close to an equal amount of male and female athletes represented in the school.
Many different people came to present at the assembly. They shared their experiences in sports and how sports affected their lives. The presenters also talked about the things that they were able to learn by being in sports teams.
Among the presenters was a friend of phyiscal education teacher Eileen Kaiser, Jessica Doucette. Doucette was a softball player who played for the University of Georgia. She encouraged girls to join the athletic programs available at school by informing them about the benefits of joining a sport.
“[Sports] has a lot to do with self-confidence, accountability and self-esteem,” Doucette said.
Changes have been made and opportunities have been created to make athletics in education more equal. Girls are strongly encouraged to be more involved and try out the different options they have in athletics this upcoming year.
“I think Title IX is a good way to support the female athletes and not make it seem like the male athletes are getting all the attention,” Director of Girls’ Athletics and Girls’ Basketball Captain Lauren Wong said.