State audits Scappoose School District after Title IX concerns r - KPTV - FOX 12

State audits Scappoose School District after Title IX concerns raised

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The complaints from the mother of a former Scappoose student athlete about the district's Title IX compliance has led to a state investigations.(KPTV) The complaints from the mother of a former Scappoose student athlete about the district's Title IX compliance has led to a state investigations.(KPTV)
SCAPPOOSE, OR (KPTV) -

Preliminary findings of an audit of Scappoose Public School’s Title IX compliance were scheduled to be released at public meeting Wednesday night

John Stellwagen, an attorney for the Oregon School Boards Association, planned to discuss the status of the review, suggestions for improvement and the school district’s plans moving forward.

A final report should be complete in a few weeks, he said.

The OSBA began audited the Scappoose School District last year, following a complaint made by Molly Jo Mullen, the parent of a former Scappoose High School student athlete.

“The more I looked at it and the more research that I did, the more things I found that I felt constituted violations of Title IX,” she said.

Title IX is the federal law requiring schools that receive public money provide girls and boys with equal opportunity to participate in sports and equal benefits and services.

Mullen filed a complaint with the district’s Title IX compliance officer, who is the school district superintendent, in March.

Mullen’s daughter graduated from Scappoose High School in 2012, where she played soccer and basketball. She currently plays collegiate soccer.

“She has been my role model in this in terms of being able to see what an absolute positive athletics have been for her in her life,” Mullen said. “I really, really want all young girls to have that opportunity.”

But Mullen believes not all female student athletes are getting the same opportunities as male student athletes in the district. She is concerned fundraising may benefit boys sports programs more than girls sports programs and said there are problems with the district’s athletic facilities.

“For example, there’s a girls varsity softball field, but it has no bathrooms while they boys baseball fields have that,” she said.

Mullen also studied school data on student participation in Scappoose High School sports.

“The first thing I noticed was looking at some data from 2009, there was a gap between the number of male athletes and the number of female athletes,” said Mullen. “What became concerning to me was when I looked at the data for 2011, the gap had actually grown. So, in effect, more boys were playing sports and less girls were playing sports.”

She is hopeful the audit will result in changes.

The district superintendent was not available for comment Wednesday.

The district released the following statement:

The Scappoose School District takes concerns relating to Title IX very seriously. The District has been working over the past several months to evaluate its athletic programs and work to ensure that it provides equitable opportunities for all of its students in compliance with Title IX. The District welcomes community input in regards to this process and is committed to addressing any issues moving forward. The District's foremost priority is to provide an excellent educational environment for all of its students."

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