Queens of the Hill: How Title IX Fares in the Hilltop Neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio

Abstract

National research indicates that Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 leaves Black girls behind in the pursuit of gender equity. Low rates of participation and high dropout rates in girls sports plague low-income, majority-minority high schools. This thesis investigates whether the national research holds true in Columbus, Ohio, specifically at West High School. Following from a series of interviews with coaches, teachers, and a student, I find that West High School’s athletic program is Title IX compliant, but girls at West High School still face severe barriers to sports participation. A school can comply with Title IX and fall short of equal opportunity for sports participation. Title IX leaves girls at West High School behind because it is reliant on a top-down approach of administrative punishment, threatening the loss of federal funding. To achieve authentic gender equity, West High School and other low-income, majority-minority schools must supplement Title IX with a bottom-up approach that is community and culturally centered

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