July 12, 2011 in Idaho

Idaho schools accused of Title IX violations

Associated Press
 

BOISE — The federal government has received complaints that 78 of the 115 Idaho school districts are violating laws meant to create equal opportunities for female athletes.

A 600-page complaint dated June 23 accuses 100 high schools of Title IX violations. The schools are accused of inflating female athlete numbers by counting cheer and dance participants as athletes. The complaint also alleges that the schools failed to adequately inform female students about other athletic activities.

KBOI-TV reports that the federal government has received dozens of complaints, but officials have declined to say who filed them.

The U.S. Department of Education said it will evaluate the complaints. The state Department of Education declined to comment, saying the agency is still reviewing the allegations detailed in the complaints.

“We have all the confidence in our schools to do the right thing,” said John Billetz, executive director of the Idaho High School Activities Association in Boise. “We will be compliant and do what needs to be done to get compliant if need be.”

Nearly 30 southwestern Idaho schools in the Treasure Valley are named in the complaints. In the Boise area, Borah High School had the highest discrepancy rate at 12.4 percent, according to the complaint documents.

“In order to address these disparities, the complainant requests that the Seattle Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) investigate this high school in the district to determine whether they are providing girls with equal opportunities to play sports as required by Title IX and remedy any unlawful conduct,” the documents say.

In south-central Idaho, multiple athletic directors told the Times-News they were unaware of the complaints. Nearly two dozen schools in this region of the state were named in the Title IX complaint.

Jerome athletic director Ty Jones told the Times-News that he believes an investigation will find his department compliant with the federal rules.

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