Monday, November 06, 2006


Equal Cheer

James Taranto at Opinion Journal Friday linked what for me is a hometown story.

It seems that the US Department of Education has singled out Vestal Central Schools in Vestal, New York, for discriminating from girls sports in their scheduling of cheerleading squad assignments (as when where and when they perform their cheerleading routines).

Interestingly, there is an Office for Civil Rights in the Dept. of Education, the happy architects of Title IX. Title IX is that popular piece of social science that makes sure that gender forms no basis in managing sports programs, and that boys and girls sports show a perfect equality regardless of differences in popularity or student interest. Title IX has led most big academic sports programs into over-funding unpopular sports, and created parallel booster organizations to cover shortfalls in more popular programs. All in the name of (Social) Science.

Apparently, another of their important missions is to prevent and eliminate these kinds of abuses in American secondary education:
The superintendent of the Vestal Central School District says the federal agency expressed concerns about the amount of promotion girls' sports received compared to the boys' program.
Because discrimination causes inequalities of promotion, and that’s why girls sports remain unpopular. If there were cheerleaders there, well, by golly, those girls’ sports would be more popular!

But aren’t there already girls at girls’ sporting events? I’m confused. Has anyone asked the girl athletes whether they want cheerleaders at their sporting events? It seems to me that many of the most vocal complaints heard in early Title IX controversies and debate was that girls wanted to chance to compete like boys, rather than be relegated to merely cheering the boys on.

Do they have to be girl Cheerleaders, or do they now have to be boy cheerleaders? Unless the Vestal school district has changed an awful lot since I went to school, I don’t think they’re going to get many volunteers.

As an alumni, I must say I’m gravely disappointed in my alma mater.

I do note that the original complaint that alerted the Dept. of Education sounded like it came from a concerned Binghamton parent…As a one-time Vestalite who was all too familiar with our Big City rivals upriver (that would be Binghamton, upstream on the Susquehanna River). Figures. They always wanted to start trouble for their small town neighbors!

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