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Gender equity group says lawsuit against FHSAA is next step

A gender equity group and the Florida High School Athletic Association did not reach an agreement Friday regarding schedule reductions and their compliance with Title IX.

Florida Parents for Athletic Equity representative Nancy Hogshead-Makar wrote in an e-mail Friday to the FHSAA board of directors and executive director Roger Dearing, "… we have exhausted our good faith attempt to obtain resolution of this matter and we will be filing the lawsuit the first of next week."

The two sides agreed a week ago to work together to ensure schedule reductions passed in April were compliant with Title IX, allowing 10 days to work out a plan. The new plan would have allowed schools to return some girls sports to the full schedules from the 2008-09 school year. Schools also would have the option to cut varsity football schedules by 20 percent and JV by 40 percent.

Hogshead-Makar, on vacation in North Carolina this week, said Dearing "couldn't get an agreement together" and left only two hours Thursday to hash things out before taking his vacation for a week.

In her e-mail, Hogshead-Makar and the FPAE's legal team demanded that Dearing schedule an emergency board meeting on or before June 26. The e-mail specified a Friday deadline that came and went.

FHSAA spokeswoman Cristina Alvarez confirmed Dearing is out of the office next week, and said no announcement was expected.

Hogshead-Makar wrote via text message Friday afternoon to "expect litigation."

She also included in her message a pair of e-mails from Dearing to her, including this question: "What happens if the board meets in a special meeting in July, and rescinds the action taken to reduce the maximum number of allowable contests?"

At issue is boys' opportunities exempt from scheduling cuts are roughly 36,000 versus those for cheerleading, roughly 4,600.

Gender equity group says lawsuit against FHSAA is next step 06/12/09 [Last modified: Friday, June 12, 2009 11:22pm]
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