To the editor:
Title IX: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
After many years of emails, phone calls and meetings a group of parents finally had enough. In October 2020 parents filed a Title IX complaint against SPS and many of its administrators. Why was it necessary? The conditions many of our female athletes at SPS are playing in are far different than their male counterparts. In addition, conditions were not safe or accessible at the softball facility, cracked sidewalks, bleachers were breaking and not handicap accessible. The upkeep and repairs had fallen to the generosity of the community, fundraisers became necessary to provide maintenance the school was not.
In summer of 2020 supporters of the Softball Program rallied to replace a donated 20-year-old scoreboard. The scoreboard was so old repairs could not be made, so a new one was the only option. After raising the money, it took many months for the school to order and install, however a replacement scoreboard was installed at the Pioneer Football Stadium, costing the school over $250,000. Broken AC and ceiling tiles damaged from water leaks, no running water in the concession stand, mold growing in the stand, bugs in the press box and more, but again the school had no money to fix those.
The lawsuit was settled out of court including maintenance and the replacement of bleachers, water in the concession stand, installation of ice machine and other items agreed to by both parties. SPS administration agreed to and signed a legal document they would have these items completed by Aug. 1, and while some have been completed many have not.
It isn’t difficult to treat all students the same and provide a safe, accessible environment for both players and fans. SPS failed to do their job and will continue to do so until everyone speaks up for all students and hold the administration accountable for the lack of concern and actions.