Elementary Schools New Front For Discriminatory Title IX Implementation?

In an unfortunate follow-up to our last post disproving activists’ claims that boys teams aren’t cut due to Title IX, a discriminatory new athletic policy has emerged out of Pittsburgh’s elementary schools. Not college, not high school. Elementary school. That’s how far removed we are now are from where Title IX was supposed to lead us.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that school officials have modified the K-5 basketball program to attempt to provide more opportunities for fourth – and fifth-grade girls. However, those opportunities blatantly come at the expense of the boys:

Now, K-5 boys and girls will be split as the district revamps its program to remedy years of “Title IX equity issues,” or unequal opportunities for girls.

But there’s a twist.

If a school can’t field enough players for both a boys’ and a girls’ team, neither team will be allowed to compete in the eight-game season that begins in January.

The district says the new rule is intended to force schools to make more vigorous efforts to recruit girls and offer equal opportunities.

We fully support equal opportunities for girls to play sports and hope that Pittsburgh Public Schools ensure those options. If girls want to play basketball, they should be able to play. However, the issue at hand is what happens when officials try to achieve equal outcomes, not equal opportunities.

Individual schools have attempted to remedy the situation by offering girls the ability to play on co-ed teams (there were only two schools with all-girls teams). Aimee Zundel, the school district’s solicitor, also conceded the point that regional girls’ teams were a possibility. Yet instead of providing reasonable solutions, she opted with this one, consequences be damned.

Ultimately, the district decided to go with the recently announced rule, which officials realize will have the potential to limit boys’ ability to play basketball, she said.

“We understand that, but the real motive was to provide an incentive for schools to really work to recruit girls.”

In other words, if boys can’t play because enough girls can’t be “recruited” (this is at the elementary school level — come on) —so be it. The logic behind this decision is eerily similar to the recently announced cuts at University of Maryland (boys’ teams can only be saved if the girls’ team they’re paired with can raise enough money). Additionally, because of proportionality measures and team cuts at the college and high school levels, the reality is that boys frequently play on all-girls’ teams. When boys have no option but to do that, it’s acceptable for gender quota activists; when it happens to girls, there are outcries followed by discriminatory measures.

Ultimately, this decision is extremely dangerous, especially because the kids are at such a young age. Stunting their opportunities now — including pursuing activities they enjoy now, getting physical exercise and learning the importance of teamwork — will surely have consequences later on. Unless Title IX implementation is reformed, those boys likely to be affected are going to face the same grim situation at every level of schooling they’re in.

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