Some discriminatory high school athletics practices in the state of Hawaii, not in accordance with Title IX, finally are being redressed as the state’s Department of Education settles a lawsuit that female athletes and their parents brought forward a few years ago.
In 2018, allegations were made that one high school’s girls water polo team was forced to practice in the ocean and run to a local Burger King to use the restroom when changing clothes.
However, the boys received all the standard amenities of being part of a school’s team.
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As reported by The New York Times, the class-action lawsuit filed by girls water polo players at the James Campbell High School in Ewa Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii’s largest high school, felt they were systematically discriminated against based on their gender. In the settlement, the state has agreed to hire an independent evaluator to ensure gender fairness. Now, the school has to follow a seven-year compliance plan and create a hotline to report discrimination.
On Friday, the board agreed to a non-monetary settlement in the case.
From practicing in the ocean, even when confronted with Hawaii’s dangerous oceanic conditions, to using the restroom at a local Burger King and changing on the team bus or even being exposed under the bleachers, the student-athletes claimed the school did not provide a locker room, per court documents.
The boys had “exclusive access to a stand-alone athletic locker room facility,” the court papers allege, where they were able to “store gear, change, shower, use the bathrooms, hold team meetings, and build team spirit.”