University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Cook v. Florida High School Athletic Ass'n ED-FL-0005
Docket / Court 09-cv-00547 ( M.D. Fla. )
State/Territory Florida
Case Type(s) Education
Case Summary
Parents of female student-athletes at Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) member schools filed suit on June 16, 2009 in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida against the Athletic Association, alleging that the Association's "Policy 6" violated the students' ... read more >
Parents of female student-athletes at Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) member schools filed suit on June 16, 2009 in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida against the Athletic Association, alleging that the Association's "Policy 6" violated the students' rights under Title IX of the Education Amendment, the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and State law. Policy 6 reduced the athletic schedules of all high school sports except boys' football and competitive cheerleading. The plaintiffs sought a declaratory judgment that Policy 6 constituted illegal sex discrimination, a preliminary and permanent injunction to prevent the implementation of the new Policy 6 and any other scheduling cuts that would inequitably burden one sex over another, monetary damages, attorneys' fees and costs and any other remedies available at law.

The plaintiffs alleged that Policy 6, which reduced the number of competitions that a school can schedule by 20% while excluding boys' football, discriminated against female athletic teams by inequitably reducing the scheduling of games and practice times in contravention to federal and state law. Although Policy 6 also excluded cheerleading, cheerleading was not recognized as a sport for purposes of Title IX in the state of Florida. The plaintiffs claimed that even if cheerleading were included, Policy 6 exempted nine times as many boys as girls from the scheduling requirement.

The parties reached a settlement Agreement on October 7, 2009, in which FHSAA agreed not to make any changes to Policy 6 that treats one gender differently than the other. The Association agreed to evaluate the effects on each gender before implementing any changes, and to give two weeks-advanced notice before implementing any changes to the policy. The Association also agreed to provide training to all attendees of the Association's Assemblies and Seminars regarding the Association's obligations under Title IX and other applicable gender equity laws. The case was dismissed on October 21, 2009.

Carlyn Williams - 03/17/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Discrimination Prohibition
Defendant-type
Elementary/Secondary School
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
General
Classification / placement
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Non-government for profit
Causes of Action Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681 et seq.
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Florida High School Athletic Association
Plaintiff Description Parents of female participants in interscholastic athletics at Florida High School Athletic Association member schools.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2009 - 2015
Case Closing Year 2009
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Courts and Kids: Pursuing Educational Equity Through the State Courts
By: Michael Rebell (Columbia University, and Campaign for Educational Equity)
Citation: (University of Chicago Press, 2009)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Links Dear Colleague Letter: Athletic Activities Counted for Title IX Compliance
http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/index.html
Posted: Sep. 17, 2008
By: United States Department of Education—Office of Civil Rights (U.S. Department of Justice)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
3:09-cv-00547-TJC-HTS (M.D. Fla.) 10/21/2009
ED-FL-0005-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint; Injunctive Relief Sought; And Demand for Jury Trial 06/16/2009
ED-FL-0005-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amicus Brief 07/14/2009
ED-FL-0005-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: U.S. DOJ, Civil Rights Division, Education Section
Order 07/16/2009 (M.D. Fla.)
ED-FL-0005-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Settlement Agreement 10/14/2009
ED-FL-0005-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: U.S. DOJ, Civil Rights Division, Education Section
Order 10/21/2009 (M.D. Fla.)
ED-FL-0005-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Corrigan, Timothy J. (M.D. Fla.) [Magistrate]
ED-FL-0005-0001 | ED-FL-0005-0004 | ED-FL-0005-0005 | ED-FL-0005-9000
Snyder, Howard T. (M.D. Fla.) [Magistrate]
ED-FL-0005-0001 | ED-FL-0005-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Baron, David F. (Florida)
ED-FL-0005-0001 | ED-FL-0005-0003 | ED-FL-0005-9000
Goller, Leslie A. (Florida)
ED-FL-0005-0001 | ED-FL-0005-0003 | ED-FL-0005-9000
Hogan, Wayne (Florida)
ED-FL-0005-0001 | ED-FL-0005-0003 | ED-FL-0005-9000
Hogshead, Nancy (Florida)
ED-FL-0005-0001 | ED-FL-0005-0003 | ED-FL-0005-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Alexander, Mark G. (Florida)
ED-FL-0005-0001 | ED-FL-0005-9000
Barnett, Michelle Bedoya (Florida)
ED-FL-0005-0001 | ED-FL-0005-9000
Ireland, Leonard E. (Florida)
ED-FL-0005-0001 | ED-FL-0005-9000
Swiger, Lindsay Dennis (Florida)
ED-FL-0005-0001 | ED-FL-0005-9000
Other Lawyers Goldschmidt, Iris (District of Columbia)
ED-FL-0005-0001 | ED-FL-0005-0002 | ED-FL-0005-9000
King, Loretta (District of Columbia)
ED-FL-0005-0001 | ED-FL-0005-0002 | ED-FL-0005-9000
McCarthy, Emily H. (District of Columbia)
ED-FL-0005-0001 | ED-FL-0005-0002 | ED-FL-0005-9000

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