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Judge: Girls' basketball games schedule not discriminatory

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A federal judge has ruled that 14 school corporations haven’t discriminated against girls’ basketball teams by scheduling more of their games on weeknights instead of weekends as compared to boys’ basketball games.

Amber Parker, the former girls’ basketball coach at Franklin County High School, filed the suit on behalf of her daughter, who played on the team, accusing the Indiana High School Athletic Association and 14 school districts in western and southwestern Indiana of discriminating against girls’ high school basketball programs. After Parker and her family moved out of state this year, Tammy Hurley and her daughter C.H., also a player, were added to the suit in July.

The plaintiffs claimed in Amber Parker, et al. v. Indiana High School Athletic Association, et al., No. 1:09-CV-885, that the IHSAA and the school districts violated Title IX and the 14th Amendment pursuant to 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 by scheduling the girls’ games on non-preferred dates and times, which are typically weeknights. The U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Indiana had previously dismissed the Title IX claim against the IHSAA, and granted the school districts' partial motion for summary judgment on the Section 1983 claims on Sept. 27, 2010. In an opinion released Wednesday, U.S. District Judge William Lawrence granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants on the remaining claims – the Title IX claim against the school districts and the Section 1983 claim against the IHSAA.

The plaintiffs asserted an equal treatment claim against the school districts based on the scheduling of boys’ and girls’ basketball games, but the 1979 Policy Interpretation of Title IX doesn’t require identical scheduling for boys’ and girls’ sports. Their scheduling doesn’t deprive the girls’ team of role models, inhibit their skills development, or prevent team building.

“In short, the disparity in treatment in this case simply does not rise to the level seen in either Communities for Equity [v. Michigan High School Athletic Ass’n, 178 F.Supp 2d. 805 (W.D. Mich. 2001),] or McCormick [v. Sch. Dist. of Mamaroneck, 370 F.3d 275, 288 (2d Cir. 2004)]. The School Defendants’ treatment of the Plaintiffs does not result in a disparity that is so substantial that it denies the Plaintiffs equality of athletic opportunity,” wrote the judge.

Judge Lawrence noted the novel theory the plaintiffs used to try to hold the IHSAA liable for its “deliberate indifference to gender-based discrimination” even though the IHSAA isn’t responsible for the schedules. The plaintiffs argued the IHSAA turned a blind eye to the discriminatory scheduling, and by not mandating gender equality, the organization facilitated the gender-based discrimination.

“The problem with the Plaintiffs’ argument is that despite their rhetoric, they have not cited a single federal case that supports using a deliberate indifference theory to hold the IHSAA liable in this situation,” he wrote. “Just because the Plaintiffs have allegedly suffered an injury does not mean that they can hold the IHSAA liable.”

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  1. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  2. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  3. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  4. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  5. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

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