As an educator, I walk through the halls of my school and am amazed at all the opportunities that are offered to the students to get involved in organizations. In the 1970s, the education system was under criticism for not providing the same opportunities to women as they did for men. Therefore the U. S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights enforced the Title IX of Education Amendments of 1972 to protect all students from discrimination based off gender (Education). Over the forty years since this amendment was passed, the majority of issues that have involved education has been within the athletics department.
Review The U. S. Department of Education issued Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 to protect anyone participating in a program or activity receiving federal funding from discrimination based on sex. “Title IX holds the distinction of being one of the few pieces of legislation passed by the United States Congress that has emerged as an iconic symbol unto itself. ” (Straurowsky & Weight, 2011). Staurowsky presents, in the Journal of NCAA Compliance, data collected from one thousand coaches showed that over eighty percent of the coaches never received formal training on Title IX.
This review of literature was conducted in order to explore the extent that coaches and administrators understand the policies and the three-part test of Title IX. How does an athletic administration’s knowledge of Title IX compare to a coach’s knowledge of Title IX? The pattern found in the research is that intercollegiate coaches are informed superficially of what Title IX means but are not aware of the proportionality, continuous improvement, and effect accommodations that must help expand the underrepresented sex. Three Parts of Title IX
The major summary taken from Title IX concerns what coaches and administrators can do to provide equal rights to female and male athletes, protect students from sexual assault, and sexual harassment. Straurowsky and Weight illustrated a quote from How it works (Bonnette 2004) that Title IX goes beyond the foundational aspects of Title IX compliance where it is separated into two parts; “first, equal access to athletic programs” and “receive treatment that is equitable to male athletes”.
An example of these regulations is the U. S. women’s national soccer team filing a wage discrimination action against the U. S. Soccer Federation with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (Fagan, 2016). Although equal access to the athletic program has been put in place, equal treatment has not been provided. The research has also shown the pattern of collegiate Title IX cases are directed towards sexual assault and harassment, due to the intimate nature of close living conditions at most colleges and universities. Although some high school cases are filed under these same circumstances most cases have involved discrimination due to unequal treatment of female athletes.
Understanding Title IX Title IX is not a highly discussed topic in most career paths. When the subject of Title IX appears it is typically due to an incident that needs to be addressed or rules that need to be reiterated to employees. I am a high school educator and coach, and in my field, Title IX is in our yearly training and becomes a lingering thought in our decisions every day. Although I received training on Title IX it is of that same surface level of understanding I mentioned previously.
To gain an outside perspective I reached out to other educators and coaches as well as an Athletic Director of the district to compare their level of understanding of Title IX and how it has effected them if at all. Knowledge can prevent The lack of training given to high school coaches can result in a lack of adequate advocates for Title IX at their institution. The article “High School Compliance with Title IX” illustrates an issue where if coaches were more knowledgeable and complied with Title IX policies a court case could have been prevented.
In this case, a group of female athletes at Castle Park High School in California filed a discrimination action toward the school. Cited from Ollier v. Sweetwater (2009, at1268; internal citations omitted): the female athletes alleged that “discrimination with respect to practice and competitive facilities; locker rooms; training facilities; equipment and supplies; travel and transportation; coaches and coaching facilities; scheduling of games and practice times; publicity; and funding” violated their rights under Title IX (Francisco & Schaefer, 2016).
Flawed Trainings Title IX compliance has been integrated into secondary and postsecondary education but has not been applied to its full capacity to ensure equity for all students. Research has been flawed due to focusing on female equality and sexual harassment and a lack of studies done on the continuing of equivalent treatment to students. Although secondary Title IX issues vary from postsecondary, it does not mean the circumstances should not be held to the same standards and importance.
Steinbach quotes Staurowsky in Title IX 101, “My feeling is that the entire athletic enterprise would be much less dysfunctional than it currently is if everyone was genuinely participating in the dialogue. ” Staurowsky spoke these words in response to finding out that her audience was full of athletic administrators who had not conducted a Title IX training for their coaches. If administration is keeping all the updates and decisions under wraps and not providing coaches with a debrief and discussion on the situations then that is one way the athletic enterprise has become so dysfunctional and unequal.
Providing all coaches with training can help eliminate the issues involving Title IX and provide more balanced opportunities. Equal rights and equal opportunity do not always have equal outcomes but Title IX helps support the accessibility to all student athletes. Method In order to see if there was consistency in the pattern of administration knowing more about Title IX than coaches, I conducted a series of interviews. I contacted the Athletic Director (AD) of Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD (HEBISD) to have a knowledgeable discussion on Title IX and how it has effected HEBISD and what has the district done to stay in compliance.
I also interviewed two coaches from two different districts to have a survey sample from a coach’s perspective of the dilemma. The survey I created was to determine the knowledge level of Title IX compliance and if the coaches feel confident in implementing Title IX policies. The following is a blank copy of the survey. The questions are used to inform a basis of understanding and build on the prior, current, and future knowledge of the individual giving the feedback. To distribute the surveys emails would be gained from district database through the athletic department.
Unlike Straurowsky, the Title IX Literacy Project survey scale was not going to work in the timely manner of this research (Straurowsky & Weight, 2011) so working with percentages and categories to reflect on the results is the method of choice The answers provided would not be necessarily easy to turn into quantifiable data. Qualitative data would fit the needs of the research question to determine if the coaches are provided with enough education on Title IX compliance.
Each recipients’ answers will be turned into a percentage and then placed on a scale of how well that coach understands and implements Title IX compliance. Results The results of the interviews provided an interesting contradiction and exploration in the currents standings of Title IX compliance. In the interview with Fielder, I learned that with every new establishment added to campuses or new sports teams being developed, the HEB district will consciously make sure that there is balanced opportunities available. Fielder provided an example of indicating compliance of Title IX.
The high schools in the district received athletic indoor facilities with a new weight room. A girls’ athletic coach brought to Fielder’s attention that the weights and bars provided in the weight room was not suitable for the female athletes. So the district ordered lighter bars to accommodate for the females training regimen (Fielder, 2016). As a follow up question that stemmed from this example I asked Fielder if he felt that the coaches in his district understand how to remain in compliance with Title IX under the three part test. I cannot think of a single coach that would not understand the meaning of Title IX and what it entails. ” (Fielder, 2016). In relation to his comment I had an interview with a cheer coach in the HEB district. I provided an initial question to her “Do you know the three parts of compliance for Title IX? ” She indicated to me that she was not aware that Title IX had three parts, she could only tell me that Title IX was about equal opportunity to all students (Measely, 2016).
As a coach of females of an organization not considered as a sport to many, it is surprising to hear that there is not much knowledge of a deeper meaning of Title IX compliance. Furthermore I spoke with a girls’ basketball coach from Keller ISD, who has been coaching for four years and has coached multiple sports, including both men and women. Smith was chosen to interview in the hopes of gaining a perspective of what kind of trainings they have gone through that may be related to Title IX and if they were aware of how schools are supposed to stay in compliance with Title IX regulations.
When asked if he was familiar with the three part test of Title IX compliance he responded “Yes I am familiar with it. ” (Smith, 2016). I then followed with asking how comfortable he would be in advocating for Title IX compliance and he said he would be comfortable speaking about or even giving a training on it but would need to do some more research to refresh all the compliance regulations.
The results I took from this response is that even though teaching and coaching requires training on reating all students equal, most teachers and coaches do not feel comfortable discussing those same things being asked to implement in detail. My findings from the interviews tend to carry in pattern with Staurowskys findings where administration is taking care of all the issues and not debriefing coaches on the issues that may occur (Staurowsky, 2011). The trainings may not be to the depth that is needed in order to have all coaches be an advocate for Title IX compliance.
Hopefully in the future more surveys can be conducted and provided to all schools of every level to keep up compliance and avoid further issues of unequal circumstances. Summary Before starting this research, I only had the understanding that Title IX was a law put in place to provide equal opportunity for all students. Learning that Title IX has three parts to compliance made sense but it was not a forethought when making decisions as a coach.
Some limitations that prevented this research from gaining substantial evidence is the lack of time, varying demographics, and post-secondary publications. While conducting the interview with the AD, I learned that it was a difficult time to acquire a survey from the coaches of his district to gain a numerical analysis of their prior and current knowledge of Title IX due to the coaches being on summer break at the time. Since a survey was unable to be given to the entire staff of the district individual interviews were conducted to gain a sample of a coach’s level of understanding.
The AD indicated that having this knowledge would be much appreciated and he would be willing to allow me to distribute the survey for future research at another time. The interviews conducted were to employees of a small 6A district that has a mixed demographics of students. If allotted more access, 1 would have sent surveys to districts of each size to determine how Title IX effects the different levels of high schools.
Acquiring statements from other ADs to know what types of training and discussion they offer to their coaches may help show a pattern in Staurowsky’s poll (Steinbach, 2010). Colleges are having to comply with Title IX to the same extent as high schools but, as research has indicated, colleges are being effected by Title IX in a different way. A limitation of this research is that majority of articles found with colleges was expressing a Title IX issue relating to money or sexual harassment case.