Future Gym changes expected
How would you like to be in a P.E. class with both boys and girls? Well, if you are a freshman or sophomore this year, you can be expecting this at Maine South in a couple of years.
Title IX, the 9th part of the education amendment act of 1972, states, "No person in the U.S. shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of or be subjected to discrimination, under any educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."
In July, 1975, President Ford, realizing that the program would be a lot of work, signed and put into effect a bill that would implement Title IX into the school systems by the '78-'79 school years. So for the next few years District 207 will continue to study the implications of "people" physical education classes.
However, there are some sports such as wrestling, football, ice hockey, boxing, soccer and rugby which can only be taught in single sex classes because they are labeled as contact sports. Even though girls cannot be allowed to play football with the boys, they cannot be denied the right to play. For example, if enough girls wanted to play football, they could force the administration to form a football class for girls. The same rules applies to badminton, for example, for boys. So, by 1978, there will be three types of gym classes--girls, boys and mixed.
The important thing is that the administration makes all P.E. classes available to both boys and girls. As far as interscholastic teams are concerned, Title IX doesn't affect Maine South because there are separate athletic teams for boys and girls. However, because golf, for example, isn't a contact sports and there isn't a girls' golf team, girls could try out for the boys' team or, if enough girls were interested, they could form their own team. The same is true for boys. The intramural program after school does try to provide an opportunity for competition in many sports.
"I really resent the lawmakers in Washington telling us at Maine South what we must do for our young people. Mr. Brady and I feel that we are properly trained to make these decisions and we don't like the interference. We believe that when you take the total program for boys and girls, there's plenty of opportunity for everyone," stated Miss Pierce, head of the girls' P.E. Department.
Since Title IX has come into effect, numerous law suits have been brought before HEW (Health, Education and Welfare Department). There may be some changes at Maine South due to the problems caused by Title IX.