What is Title IX?
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 was the first comprehensive federal law to prohibit sex discrimination against students and employees of educational institutions. The law benefits both males and females and requires educational institutions to maintain policies, practices and programs that do not discriminate against anyone based on sex. Under this law, males and females are expected to receive fair and equal treatment in all areas of public education, including athletics.
How does this apply to Michigan: A Brief History
Title IX changes here in Michigan have been contentious at times with parents and state athletic administrators battling in court. Communities for Equity (CFE) is a Michigan-based advocacy organization that sued the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) for discrimination in 1998. Six of seven issues in the complaint were resolved through mediation and the issue of athletic season alignment went to trial in 2001.
The MHSAA was found guilty of discrimination by placing numerous girls' sports in nontraditional seasons and no boys' sports in nontradtitional seasons. The court then ordered the MHSAA to provide an equitable athletic sport season schedule between genders. The long legal battle ended in 2007 in favor of Communities For Equity and equitable seasonal sports offerings for boys and girls began in Michigan's high schools shortly thereafter.
Title IX Today:
Since the lawsuit, CFE Title IX advocates have been working closely with Kent ISD and OK Conference officials to ensure athletes are treated fairly. As a result of this collaboration Kent County has emerged as a state leader in Title IX compliance initiatives.
The OK Conference now requires participating schools to complete:
- The Title IX Annual Compliance Report
- OK Conference Student Interest survey every three years
- OK Conference Gender Equity Comprehensive Audit (GECA) every five years
Click here for the Title IX Reporting & Activity Calendar: 2015-16
Participating schools are also required to present gender equity information at preseason meetings.