Title IX Equality or Inequality?

by Xavier Walton, xwalton@k2tv.com

Today most Americans pride themselves on equality and many argue now more than ever women can do anything a man can do.  But that hasn't always been the case, especially when referring to sports.

In the mid 1970s it was Title IX that brought men and women closer together in the sports realm, however it's that same piece of legislation that keeps them apart today.

"I play volleyball, basketball, football," said 11 year old Jathan Wilson.

Like most kids his age Wilson loves sports, and he's not bad either, just ask him mother.

"He's an athletic kid; all my kids are athletic," said Jamie Wilson, Jathan's mother.

To her demise, this season he wont playing one of the sport he loves most- volleyball.

"On the first day of school I heading to practice and my mom called me to the car and she said I can't do volleyball." Jathan went onto ask "Why?"

As you can imagine the answer to that simple one word question was hard for an 11 year old to understand, especially because the answer is cause he's a boy.

In response to Jathan's questions Mrs. Wilson said "He called me and this is going to sound really bad, but he called me and he was crying. He didn't understand why he wasn't able to play."

Back in the mid 1970s when things weren't equal, Title IX passed requiring gender equality that encompassed every educational program that receives federal funding.
So bottom-line, whether you're a boy or girl, and want to bump-set-spike, or just catch a football, you should be allowed to right? Not necessarily.

"He would be displacing an opportunity for a young lady on the team," said Terry Hooker, Natrona County School District Athletic Director.

OVer the past 30 years Title IX has been subject to dozens of amendments, and according to the Natrona County School District, they are within their legal rights.

"Attorney Kathleen Dickson reviewed the law, and looked at the decisions that had been made nationally," Hooker said.  "And she said our policy within the district is in alignment with the current Title IX Policy."

By the book this issue almost seems like a non-issue, but when you read between the lines that's when it get's a little dicey.  Look at it from the other side, the side with x-chromosomes, that's what we at K2TV did.

"You can't play you don't have the strength, the ability, the mental ability! Definitely being a girl you have to earn your respect. Some people told me I couldn't play because they didn't like a girl was playing," Taylor Martin, freshman NCHS football player said.

But whether people liked it or not, she's playing and she's the only girl in the Mustang Football Program, but it didn't come easy, which is why she's pulling for Jathan.

"I think they should let him play. It's the same with a girl, if they're taking a girl away I'm taking a guy. At least give him a chance to play," said Martin.

And while Taylor pleads on Jathan's behalf, she also challenges him by giving him these words of advise.

"I'd tell him to keep trying and keep fighting as long as you can."