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Linn County Leader - Brookfield, MO
  • R-3 Seeking Federal Compliance

  • The quest to add a new sport at Brookfield High School has added unforeseen complications involving the District’s Title IX compliance with the federal government. This proverbial can of worms was opened at this week’s regular monthly session of the Brookfield R-3 Board of Education.
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  • The quest to add a new sport at Brookfield High School has added unforeseen complications involving the District’s Title IX compliance with the federal government.  This proverbial can of worms was opened at this week’s regular monthly session of the Brookfield R-3 Board of Education.
    Title IX was established in 1972, and made it illegal for women’s sports and athletics to not be treated equally as men’s sports and athletics.  Prior to the establishment of Title IX, women athletes had subpar locker rooms, uniforms, and equipment.
    While most commonly associated with sports, Title IX also applies in the following areas:  Access to Higher Education, Career Education, Education for Pregnant and Parenting Students, Employment, Learning Environment, Math and Science, Sexual Harassment, Standardized Testing and Technology.
    It is the pursuit to add a new sport, specifically baseball, to the repertoire of offerings in the District which prompted a study to gauge the interest of males and females in the District as to adding said sport.  Through the course of this study; the District realized that, while there was interest in adding many sports, that they were vastly out of compliance with the Title IX statutes.
    A total of 241 freshmen, sophomores, and juniors were surveyed to see what new sports, if any, they would commit to go out for if they were added as options next season.  The top vote-getters were:  baseball (boys-spring sports) with 59, volleyball (girls-fall sports) with 54, tennis (girls-fall sports) with 35, and soccer (girls-spring sports) with 33.  Other vote-getters were cross country running (boys and girls-fall sports) with 21 total athletes interested.  Boys soccer (fall) and boys tennis (spring) also had interest, with 18 and 12 votes, respectively.
    It was noted at the meeting that while these students are agreeing to go out for a sport, but having little to no experience with said sport, attrition is sure to reduce these numbers.  Still, this leaves baseball, volleyball, soccer, tennis, and cross country as viable sports that the District could offer.
    Board members questioned how these numbers, if the sports were added, would take away from existing sports.  Specifically, the concerns were noted about softball and boys track.  The Board also wanted to poll the eighth graders, as they would be the incoming freshmen who could take part in the athletics offered next year.
    The Board decided to hold a public meeting, the date of which has not been determined, to gauge public interest in adding sports at Brookfield High School.  In 2011, while preparing to run the levy increase that took two tries to pass, the District held public meetings.  At these meetings, extra curricular activities were the lowest rated item in the first category of importance. Dr. Barger presented the above-mentioned numbers to the Board as well.

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