Sunday, November 13, 2011

The intentions and practices of 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 education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance...". This is the purpose of Title IX, a law created to prevent sexism in activities through schools, especially sports. This law however, is not perfect. I have been trying to convince my cousin, a freshman at Wheeling High school, to do gymnastics. Eventually my persuasion got to him, and he looked into joining his schools team. To his surprise, and my astonishment, he found that Wheeling High school only has a girl's gymnastics team (select a sport). Title IX was made to help women athletes, but in the process it has left behind many male athletes participating in "lesser" sports. Besides leaving them behind, it has even caused new problems for many male athletes. Jacob Torok, a swimmer of 15 years, transferred from the University of New Hampshire to James Madison University (JMU) when the first school's swim team was cut. This trully became a tragedy when JMU cut its swim team aswell. Many Universities, including JMU, have cut men's teams for the sake of Title IX. JMU has cut nine sports, predominately male, to comply with Title IX. Though the intentions of Title IX, to even out men and women's athletic opportunities, are good; the practice of Title IX is the problem. Many males are left behind, and even cheated by Title IX. In its efforts to even out the playing field for women, it has forsaken the men. Boys such as my cousin in Wheeling high are forgotten by the gymnastics program and people like Jacob Torok of JMU are having their sports cut. Something has to be done.
James Madison University students protesting when men's swimming was cut in 2007 (photo courtesy of Jacob Torok).
JMU students protesting the cuts

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