Baseball bleachers taken down after ruling that girls softball t - FOX 32 News Chicago

Baseball bleachers taken down after ruling that girls softball team's seats must be equal

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PLYMOUTH, Mich. (WJBK) - A set of seating is being torn down outside the Plymouth Wildcats varsity boys' baseball field, not long before the season begins, because the fields for boys' and girls' athletics must be equal.

A group of parents raised money for a raised seating deck by the field, as it was hard to see the games through a chain-link fence. The parents even did the installation themselves, and also paid for a new scoreboard.

But, after someone complained to the U.S Education Department's Office for Civil Rights, an investigated by the department determined the new addition was no longer equal to the girls' softball field next door, which has old bleachers and an old scoreboard. 

A spokesperson from the U.S. Department of Education offered the following:

“As a resolution to the district's violation of longstanding Title IX requirements to offer equal athletic opportunities to both boys and girls, the Department’s office of Civil Rights (OCR) accepted the district's voluntary agreement to address this inequality by constructing necessary improvements to the softball field, or demolishing the baseball structure, or some combination of both.  The final decision on how best to comply with the law was made by the district.  OCR’s preference from the beginning, was for the district to construct a similar structure for the girls' softball team.” – U.S. Department of Education spokesperson

The school agreed to take the seats down after receiving a citation for not providing handicap accessibility and as an option to comply with the federal assessment of the bleachers.

The superintendent says the seats and materials will be stored until they can form a plan that complies with the rules and is fair to everyone. He adds the money is not available to build a similar seating deck at the girls' field, but their field will be getting a new scoreboard.
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