Title IX In Athletics

Kaya Schultz, News and Politics Editor

Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 is a federal law that states, “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 education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” In other words, this law requires all educational institutions that receive federal funds to have equal athletic opportunities for both sexes. However, recently it was added that it  prohibits sex discrimination in education including the discrimination against pregnant and parenting students and women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programs. It also addresses sexual harassment, gender-based discrimination, and sexual violence.

Since 1972, when the law was implemented, female participation in high school sports has increased by more than 900%. This was also evident here at West Orange High School (WOHS). More steps were taken this year, as a girls lacrosse team was added, along with a co-ed wrestling and fencing team. When asking Sam Targonski, a future member of the girls lacrosse team, she stated, “I’ve played boys lacrosse for a few years and I’m really excited to finally have a girls team. I’ve even had to play at the rec level in the town which sucks because on my club team everyone else gets to play for their high school.”

However, it is not only girls that are getting equality in sports. Some critics of the amendment like to argue that the addition of the women’s sports has resulted in a loss of mens sports. This argument has been proven false, and there is even a new boys volleyball team being introduced at WOHS. When talking to coach Cruz, the coach of boys volleyball, she said, “ I think having boys volleyball added to into our athletic program is going to be a great thing for our school and community. Boys volleyball is definitely popular and we have a lot of athletes in this school. I really think that we can make something out of it, so I’m very happy it was added and am looking forward to it.”

February 6th, 2019 marks the 33rd anniversary of National Girls & Women in Sports Day. The West Orange Girls Basketball play the following day, as they celebrate the anniversary in a home game.