Title IX Isn’t Always the Answer

Title IX was passed 40 years ago. The wording for Title IX is fairly simple, "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..." —United States Code Section 20

It may sound simple but unfortunately Title IX is a difficult law to monitor and many girls and women still manage to fall through the cracks in high schools and colleges all over the country every day. One of those girls is 17-year-old Hillary Albert a high school senior and hockey player in Maine.

"I want to be a professional hockey player. It's been my dream since I was four" Hillary told CBS news. But unfortunately for Hillary, earning the scholarships and getting seen by a scout are things that won’t happen if she can’t play. Hillary’s small town doesn’t have a girl’s varsity hockey team. "They told me I should have been good enough for the boys team," Hillary said. "I'm as fast as them, just not big enough."

Presque Isle High School's Athletic Director cites money, lack of nearby competition from other girls teams and simply not enough interest to warrant pursuing a girls team. 17 girls are needed for a team and Hillary and her father say they have 19 ready and willing to play.

The Athletic director claims that Presque High school meets Title IX standards (equal ratio of male to female athletes). Though that equal ratio includes cheerleaders, even though Title IX doesn’t define cheerleading as a sport.

School administrators have told the hockey-playing girls that they can have their team if they can raise $150,000 to run the team for three years. But with only a few months left in the school year and only $3,000 raised Hillary's chance at playing hockey for a scholarship may have passed her by.

You’re probably wondering what YOU can do about Hillary and all the other girls out there who aren’t able to play the sport of their dreams. Well, there is something you can do. Something pretty simple, attend a female sporting event in your town.

Look up your local junior high, high school or college female sporting teams and pledge to attend at least one this season. The only way to help girls like Hillary is to show that there IS an interest in female sports where you live.

Plus you get the added bonus of exposing your own daughter to female athletes working hard and making their dreams happens.

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