AAUW Applauds Settlement in Parker v. Indiana High School Athletic AssociationOctober 19, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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Title IX Suit Paves Way for Fairer Treatment of Girls’ Sports in Indiana
WASHINGTON — The American Association of University Women (AAUW) today hailed the settlement of the Title IX suit Parker v. Indiana High School Athletic Association. Amber Parker and Tammy Hurley, who received case support from the AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund, successfully fought for fairer scheduling of the varsity girls’ basketball games in Franklin County, Indiana.
In 2009, Amber Parker, the former coach of the Franklin County High School girls’ varsity basketball team, sued the Franklin County Community School Corporation and the other school districts against which Franklin plays on behalf of her daughter, who played on the team. The suit was subsequently joined by Tammy Hurley on behalf of her daughter, another team member.
Parker alleged violations of Title IX and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution due to the disparity in scheduling of games between the boys’ and girls’ varsity basketball teams. The suit argued that almost all the boys’ games were played in prime time — on Friday and Saturday nights — compared with only about half of the girls’ games. The plaintiffs said that the scheduling unfairly placed academic burdens on the girls, who competed on school nights, were deprived of crowd support, and were made to feel like second-class athletes.
“This is great news for the young women athletes of tomorrow. In competitive and team sports, girls experience the same kinds of physical and intellectual benefits as boys,” said AAUW Executive Director Linda D. Hallman, CAE. “Being made to feel like a second-class athlete is something no girl should experience. This resolution breaks through yet another barrier girls experience.”
The National Women’s Law Center represented the plaintiffs in their appeal. The agreement approved by the U.S. District Court for Southern Indiana requires progressive improvements in scheduling girls’ varsity basketball games through 2017.
AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund support has been instrumental in the success of many gender discrimination cases during its almost 30-year history. Other LAF initiatives include community and campus outreach programs, an online resource library with downloadable advocacy tools, a Legal Referral Network, and research reports.
AAUW’s strategic case support program provides financial and organizational backing for a select number of cases that have the potential to provide significant protection for all women. The funds come directly from the generous contributions of AAUW members who support the Legal Advocacy Fund.