It is time for the cheerleader moms

I spent 18 years of my life serving on our local school board. During that time, I witnesses first hand the struggles of young women wanting to be recognized as equals when it comes to varsity sports. Much progress has been made. This progress is in large part due to the commitment of parents and in particular the moms wanting to make things right. It is time once again for the moms to band together and make things right. There are tens of thousands of young women involved with cheerleading that are devoted excellent athletes. They deserve the protections afforded a varsity athlete. The deserve to be free from discrimination and risk of injury due to lack of funding and experienced supervisors .

Appeals court holds in Title IX suit that cheerleading not a sport.

The New York Times /AP (8/8, B20, Schonbrun, Subscription Publication) reports the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit “ruled that colleges cannot count competitive cheerleading as a sport when trying to comply with [Title IX] gender-equity requirements, upholding a United States District Court decision against Quinnipiac University.” The court held “that competitive cheerleading does not yet meet the standards of a varsity sport under Title IX.”

The Christian Science Monitor (8/8, Richey) reports the judges wrote, “We acknowledge record evidence showing that competitive cheerleading can be physically challenging, requiring competitors to possess 'strength, agility, and grace,'” adding, “We do not foreclose the possibility that the activity, with better organization and defined rules, might some day warrant recognition as a varsity sport. But … that day has not yet arrived.” The Monitor adds, “The appeals panel agreed that a 3.62 percent disparity between female enrollment and female varsity athletes is substantial enough to violate Title IX.”

The Connecticut Post (8/8, Mayko) reports the district court's “ruling resulted from a federal discrimination case brought against the school by the ACLU on behalf of five members of Quinnipiac's women's volleyball team and their former coach after the school decided to eliminate funding for their sport and replace it with a 30-member competitive cheerleading team.”

Also covering this story are Reuters (8/8, Dye), the “Law Blog” of the Wall Street Journal (8/8, Palazzolo), the “School Law” blog of Education Week (8/8, Walsh), and the Hartford (CT) Courant (8/8, Mahony)