On February 15, 1996, parents, as next friends of their minor daughters, filed a class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District Of Oklahoma against Owasso Public Schools ("OPS") and individual District employees. Plaintiffs, represented by private counsel and ...
read more >
On February 15, 1996, parents, as next friends of their minor daughters, filed a class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District Of Oklahoma against Owasso Public Schools ("OPS") and individual District employees. Plaintiffs, represented by private counsel and attorneys from the National Women's Law Center, claimed that OPS had violated Title IX, the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution, and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 by denying female students an equal opportunity to participate in interscholastic athletics.
Specifically, plaintiffs claimed that OPS had intentionally discriminated against female OPS students based solely on their gender in the scheduling of games and practice times; the provision of equipment, lockers rooms for both practice and competition, opportunity to receive qualified coaching, publicity and supplies; and the assignment and compensation of coaches. The plaintiffs also sought compensatory damages in their individual capacities.
Plaintiffs' motion for class certification was granted by the Court (Judge Terence C. Kern) on June 28, 1996.
On October 2, 1996, the Court (Judge Kern) entered a consent decree terminating the case and setting out the agreements reached regarding OPS's sports programs' availability to female students. Specifically, OPS was obligated to survey female students, urge female teams' coaches to play the maximum number of games permitted, and to engage in consistent efforts to provide intramural opportunities for 7th and 8th grade students. Finally, OPS was required to comply with various requirements related to budget and expenditures; coaches; equipment and supplies; facilities, including weight facilities; grievance procedures; policies, including maintenance of records related to compliance; publicity and support organizations; scheduling of games and practice times; Title IX personnel training; travel; and uniforms.
On November 22, 1996, the parties jointly agreed to dismiss the lawsuit with prejudice. On May 21, 1997, the Court (Judge Kern) awarded plaintiffs $32,941 in attorney's fees and costs. On August 16, 1999, OPS tendered a report in support of its compliance with the consent decree, detailing OPS's obligations and related compliance.Heather Turner - 05/29/2014