On October 26, 2012, OCR resolved this Title IX athletics compliance review, which examined whether Hingham Public Schools (District) discriminated against female students by denying them an equal opportunity to participate in its interscholastic athletics program and by failing to provide them with benefits equivalent to those provided to male students. Information obtained during OCR’s investigation revealed a large disparity between the enrollment of female high school students and their participation in interscholastic athletics and that the District had not conducted any recent district-wide assessment of student athletic interest. OCR did not make a determination as to whether the District was in compliance with Title IX with respect to athletic participation because, prior to the conclusion of its investigation of the interests and abilities of female students, the District requested to enter into a voluntary resolution agreement. Regarding the benefits and services the District provided to its athletes, OCR found the District in violation of Title IX for not ensuring the provision of equivalent benefits and services to its male and female athletes, in part because OCR determined that the District’s booster clubs were providing benefits and services to the boys’ teams across several components of its athletics program, resulting in greater benefits and services for the boys’ teams than the girls’ teams. Under the agreement the District will: (1) provide an equal opportunity for female students to participate in the athletics programs at its high school; (2) conduct an assessment to determine whether there are unmet interests and abilities among female students; and (3) take steps to increase athletic opportunities for female students, in accordance with the results of the assessment. The District will also: (4) develop, implement and publicize a procedure to use in requesting the addition of new sports or levels of sports at the high schools; (5) provide annual notice to students, coaches, and other District staff of all of the sports offered at each high school; and (6) immediately assess the scope of the booster club problem and develop a new policy and practice to oversee booster club involvement with the District’s interscholastic athletics program.
Read the Resolution Letter PDF (295K) | Read the Resolution Agreement PDF (130K)