Lake Oswego Title IX lawsuit prompts changes; parents, athletes - KPTV - FOX 12

Lake Oswego Title IX lawsuit prompts changes; parents, athletes not happy

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Parents, student athletes and community members voiced their concern to school board members Monday night. (KPTV) Parents, student athletes and community members voiced their concern to school board members Monday night. (KPTV)

Several parents, student athletes and community members in Lake Oswego say they are upset over changes made to the baseball field at Lake Oswego High School. 

The district made changes to make the field multi-use to incorporate softball. A movable mound, bases and outfield fence is being added. The mound and bases have been installed, the high school is still waiting on the fence. 

The changes come as the school district is working through a Title IX lawsuit filed in the spring of 2016 by members of the softball team.

The suit alleges the district has violated Title IX, an education amendment that prohibits schools from discriminating against or withholding opportunities from students based on gender.

All 10 players are named in the lawsuit. They claim the boys baseball team gets the best of everything while they make do with leftovers.

In April of 2016 the district issued a statement regarding the allegations.

“Some improvements have already been made, such as providing suitable inclement weather practice opportunities for girls softball and an upgrade to the indoor softball batting cage. Additional planning, coordination and equipment are required to further improve conditions and the district expects those will be in place within the next several weeks.”

On Monday night, both members of the baseball and softball teams, parents and community members voiced concerns over the changes made to the turf baseball field to accommodate the softball team.

“This is a unique community, we have really high standards and the softball teams should have first class facilities,” one man said.

Another man told the school board he fears the changes will create safety hazards citing pictures of rubber plugs placed where the softball bases are anchored. 

Others say moving the softball team to the baseball field has added another team vying for practice space.

Kelsey Deos was one of the softball players at the meeting.

“It is really awesome seeing the entire community come out and support us,” Deos said.

Deos says she can’t comment on pending litigation but could talk on the impacts the turf changes were already having to the season which started with tryouts on Monday.

“We don’t think it is a workable solution that can accommodate all the teams,” Deos said. "Baseball has three teams and we have one team and it is just not workable.”

Mediation of the Title IX lawsuit is continuing. The superintended told FOX 12 after the school board meeting Monday that she wants to meet with her team to discuss the concerns they heard and how best to move forward.

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