The Title IX Law Suit Machine

One of the little known side effects of Title IX enforcement are the costs that it imposes on school districts around the country. One of the more recent examples comes from Arrowhead High School in Hartland, Wisconsin. According to local reports, handling a recent suit that resulted in the school adding a girl’s lacrosse team cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $50,000-$60,000. While most of that was handled by an insurance policy, the school was forced to spend about $10,000 to handle the suit. And as we all know, while the policy covered most of the costs, the school is probably staring at a future where their insurance premiums are going to have to increase.

All in all, even at $10,000, that’s a lot of money that could have been used more productively.

Why is it so expensive? Well, in short, it’s because the lawyers involved in filing these suits often do so in pursuit of a big pay day. The most famous came in the 1990s when the National Women’s Law Center filed a suit against the Michigan High School Athletic Association stating that the scheduling of some girl’s high school sports was discriminatory. Eventually, the NWLC won the suit, and was able to help itself to over $1 million in legal fees.
That law suit first mentality is on full display at JustPlayNow.org, a Web site created by the California Women’s Law Center. When you get there, they even have a button slugged, “Ask a lawyer.”
While the CSC is sympathetic with teams that would like to see their fields upgraded, how does it help anybody to force a school to pay out hundreds of thousands — or in one case millions — of dollars defending suits like these that do nothing but line the pockets of the lawyers who file the suits in the first place? Wouldn’t that money be better spent directly on the athletic programs in question?
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