Title IX leveled the playing field in school
Daily Gazette, The (Schenectady, NY) - Monday, April 9, 2012
Author: Emily Kreuzer ; Ninth Grade,
Averill Park High School
Can you imagine a school with no girls' sports? Where the only thing that girls could do is cheer on the sidelines and not be part of the action?
There was once a time at Averill Park High School when the girls were limited to just cheerleading. There was no soccer, softball, volleyball, basketball, tennis, lacrosse or track. Girls were not allowed to represent their school in any athletic way.
Attendance secretary Mrs. Long went to Averill Park High School at that time. "Our only choice was cheerleading. Most of the girls missed playing sports like softball and basketball. It was a little uncomfortable for the girls, to be so limited to what we could do. We couldn't even wear pants to school; we were only allowed to wear shorts and skirts," said Long.
"We would have to go find an open field to play sports. Most of the time, we would play softball or do archery. I can still remember how much fun we used to have," she added.
In 1972, Title IX, a federal law, went into effect, stating that there could not be discrimination between males and females when it came to education and athletics. Basically, for every male sport there had to be a female sport.
Athletic director Mrs. MacGilfry started her high school career when Title IX went into effect. "When I was a freshman, girls were allowed to do club sports. In my sophomore year, we had actual sports teams. There was field hockey in the fall. In the winter, there was half a season of volleyball and a half a season of basketball, so girls could play both sports. In the spring, we had softball. My senior year was the first year that girls track started," said MacGilfry.
"When I was in middle school and there were no modified sports, we would have neighborhood pickup games," she said. "It would be one neighborhood against another neighborhood in a game of baseball."
When Mrs. Fahrenkopf went to school, they had a varsity girls softball, basketball and volleyball. "Outside of school we didn't really play any sports. We mostly just did Girl Scouts and just hung out with friends."
Guidance officer Mrs. Perez also went to Averill Park High School. They had more girl sports when she went here, but they still didn't have girls softball. "I played Rec I softball for the girls' Classie Lassie League," said Perez.
When art teacher Mrs. Valenti went here, she didn't play any sports. "I hated gym? Instead of sports, I did French Club, Art Club, and Key Club after school," she said.
Most female athletes at Averill Park couldn't imagine not having any female sports. Freshman Rachael Aphel said, "It would be really unfair not having any girl's sports."
Freshman Mary Lantry said, "I'd be really, really, really upset. I'd probably cry over it."
"If we didn't have softball, I'd be really disappointed," said sophomore Brittany Meka.
A school without girls sports just wouldn't be the same!