Equal Tweets, Equal Cheers: Is Your School Athletics Program Providing Equal Publicity under Title IX?  

With Matthew A. Reed, Counsel, Thompson & Horton

As we noted last year, K-12 athletics programs are facing increasing Title IX enforcement efforts. Whether with OCR or in the courts, complainants increasingly claim schools do not provide equal benefits to male and female teams in categories such as facilities, game scheduling, coaching, and travel.   

One category that gets less attention—despite hiding in plain sight—is a school’s publicity efforts on behalf of its sports teams and athletes. Publicity includes traditional methods such as school newspaper coverage and marquee announcements, but it also includes social media posts and even the use of cheerleaders and school bands. What are some of the most common complaints we see in this area and what can your school, college, or university do to limit the risk of problems? 

 

11th Circuit: Excluding Trans Students From Bathroom Not a Title IX Violation

In a long-awaited decision, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals held on December 30, 2022, that a Florida school board could exclude a transgender high school student from the bathroom matching their gender identity without a constitutional or Title IX concern. A majority of the court held that restricting bathroom use by “biological sex” is proper and significantly furthers student privacy interests. Other judges dissented. That split, as well as the conflict between this decision and that in other appellate courts across the country, tees up the case for review by the U.S. Supreme Court. Read the case here: Adams v. School Board of St. Johns County, Florida.