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Former girls soccer coach's complaint against Longview ISD

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The following is Longview High School teacher and former girls soccer coach Chris Yoder's original complaint against Longview Independent School District that he filed with the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights:

 

     OCR COMPLAINT FORM



1. Enter information about you.

Your First Name: Chris        Your Last Name: Yoder


2. Who else can we call if we cannot reach you?

----

3. Who was discriminated against?

----


4. What institution discriminated?

Institution Name: Longview I.S.D

Address:  1301 East Young Street

City: Longview

State: TX

Zip Code: 75602

School or department involved: LISD/Long. HS/Athletic Dept.



5. Have you tried to resolve the complaint through the institution's grievance process, due process hearing, or with another agency?


Yes

Agency Name: LISD Title IX Coordinator

Date Filed:  (mm/dd/yyyy)

Status: My complaint and concerns were originally addressed to our Athletic Director. The Superintendent immediately told me (through the athletic director), that "if I didn't like the way things were that I needed to resign". Throughout the fall semester I met with a school board member and was able to voice my concerns and he set up a meeting between me and our Title IX Coordinator. Through two meetings with her I was allowed to address the areas where I felt our school district was not compliant with Title IX and she then took my complaint to the school board. I received an email from her after the school board met on December 10, 2012 to discuss my complaint. The email simply stated that the board "decided to take no action" with regards to my complaints/concerns.



6. Describe the discrimination

OCR enforces regulations that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin; sex; disability; and/or age.

All that apply:

sex

Why you believe the discrimination was because of race, sex, disability, or whatever basis you indicated above or why you believe the action was retaliatory.

Date(s): ongoing. As I have familiarized myself with Title IX over the last several years I have come to realize that our school district hasn't been in complete compliance with Title IX at least since I started working here as a coach/teacher in 2000.

Name(s) of individual(s) who discriminated: Pat Collins was the Athletic Director from the time I began employment until approximately two years ago. He still remains as a "consultant" for the athletic department. John King is the current athletic director. Our current Superintendent is Dr. James Wilcox and our current Title IX coordinator is Andrea Mayo.

What happened: I will preface this by saying that documentation received through open records request as well as the documents I have produced summarizing said request will go much further into detail as to specific complaints. A personal meeting might also be needed for clarification.

- LISD/Longview High School does not meet any of the 3 prongs proving that they meet the requirement of providing equal opportunities to participate in athletics.
Prong 1: Longview High School (LHS henceforth) was 48.7% female and 51.3% male in 2009 according to the National Center for Education Statistics. This was the most recent data they had. That year their were 72.4% male and 27.6% female athletic participants. We had a participation gap of 21.1%.
Prong 2: LHS has not added any female sports teams in approximately 20 years.
Prong 3: LHS is not meeting female athletes' interests and abilities nor have they attempted to find out what those interests and abilities are within the 12 years that I have been employed here to my knowledge. As the girls soccer coach, I was unable to allow into the soccer program all of the athletes that desired to be involved. I had to restrict my numbers due to not having as many coaches as other sports do to effectively supervise them. I was not given the ability to add an additional team and/or coach in order to remedy this.

- LISD/LHS does not provide equal quality and/or quantity of equipment and supplies: The football booster club routinely donates money to supplement the football budget above and beyond all sports, specifically female sports as it pertains to this complaint. Nor does the school district know that all money and in-kind contributions that a team receives, regardless of the source, are subject to Title IX's requirements. The district spokesperson said in a newspaper article with regards to a 100,000 dollar donation to the football program "Holland said anyone can donate and earmark money for what they want. The district does not have to provide a matching amount." Thought true that they do not have to provide matching funds, they do have to provide equal treatment(facilities in this case) in kind. This also falls in the category of "providing equal financial support for travel and expenses". Facilities for the football program are much more extravagant than those for other sports and certainly tip the scales in favor of overall facilities provided for male athletes than female athletes. Costly top of the line lockers, space given per athlete, and conference/meeting/film rooms are three examples. Also, there is a separate athletic budget that I assume was not included within the scope of my open records request because I did not receive it. Included within this budget are monies received by the athletic department from advertisers and/or boosters. This budget also includes the disbursement of money to pay for scoreboards and the video screen in our stadium. I do not know what else this budget includes but I do know that this budget is not overseen by the school board and thus is left to the whim of the athletic director. And because I do not know the ins and outs of this budget, I do not know whether the disbursement of funds favors either male or female athletes. Evidently neither does our school board.

- LISD/LHS does not provide fairness in assigning and paying quality coaches. Over the past three years, the numbers of assistant coaches for female teams has dropped 33% (15 to 10) while the number of assistant coaches for male teams has risen 12% (25 to 28) without a difference in participation of female to male athletes to support the change. Assistant coaches for male sports have earned and average of $663.59 more than assistant coaches for female sports over the past three years. Head coaches' salaries could not be compared as there was no separate line item for "Head Football Coach" under the athletic director's salary. Some coaches were given raises over the last three years even though we were repeatedly told that the reason coaches weren't given raises over the last three years was due to district wide salary freezes.

There is a line item under several coaches' stipends referring to additional money for driving a school bus yet I know for sure of one coach that did not receive the additional average of approximately $6,000 per year that the athletic budget said he did. I did not query any of the other coaches nor was I given an explanation of this stipend from the title IX coordinator. These extra stipends average $8,179.31 for the 26 times they were given. Also, this was within a year span where coaches were told that bus driving was a requirement for employment and additional pay would not be given for driving the team you were coaching or assisting.

Coaches were assigned to, and received stipends for assisting sports in which they by no means even attended a practice, much less coached.

There are also vague, line item "extra duties" in which two coaches earned $4,608.89 and $4,475.56 and I was given no specific reason for the added stipend. Both coached male sports.

Extra duties, specifically teaching loads also favor the coaches of male sports. Broadly summarizing, coaches of male sports teach fewer class periods than their counterparts. Their seems to be very little "rhyme or reason" as to the teaching assignments of coaches. During the past two years, coaches as well as classroom teachers were told by administration that those that taught core classes would be given one conference period every day while those that taught "non-core" or elective classes would only receive one conference period every other day. During that time approximately 7 "non-core teaching" coaches were given more than one conference period and 8 "core teaching" coaches were only given one conference period. I say approximately because some of the teaching schedules are incorrect. Some coaches were scheduled for "classes" in which 0-3 students were signed up to take. Rest assured there are several ambiguities as to teaching assignments and those ambiguities favor football coaches and therefore coaches of male sports.

To summarize whether LISD provides fairness in assigning and paying quality coaches: The coach to player ratio is not equivalent between coaches of male and female teams, coaches of male and female teams do not receive equal salaries for equal work, coaches of male and female teams do not have equal "other duties", and assistant coaches are not equally available to male and female teams.

- Witnesses: The people of Longview that have had any ties of any sort to any athlete or athletic program at LHS

- My beliefs as to why I believe the discrimination is because of race is: one can only assume as much when you see the overall scope of benefits afforded to male athlete in comparison to females.



7. Your complaint must be filed within 180 days of the discriminatory action

When did the last act of discrimination occur?

Enter the date:  (mm/dd/yyyy)

Are you requesting a waiver of the 180-day filing time limit for discrimination that occurred more than 180 days before the filing of this complaint?

No. Reason for not filing complaint before 180 days. I really don't know. When I first found out this information? Not most of it anyway. I received the open records request on or about November 5. The $100,000 donation referred to as an example earlier was almost three years ago. But I did not know at the time that booster club donations were to be considered while evaluating equality amongst athletic programs. And yes, some of the salaries and teaching responsibilities go back over the last couple of years but that is just indicative of the ongoing inequality here at LHS.



8. What would you like the institution to do as a result of your complaint - what remedy are you seeking?

I would like Longview ISD and those in charge of its athletic program to stop the practice of discriminating on the basis of sex with regards to athletics.

I would also ask that they become better educated as to the scope of Title IX and the rights included therein as to not repeat the unfairness.
I understand that the locker room situation cannot be undone. We cannot give back the lockers and other amenities that were so graciously donated. But we can build a facility for the other sports to match the extravagance of the football locker room.

I would also like every athlete at LHS to have the assurance of fairness in the assignment of quality coaches. This would require a look at the salary structure and an explanation of why coaches of some sports deserve a salary higher or lower than other sports. The athletes also deserve coaches that have equal "added responsibilities" with regards to their teaching loads and/or other assignments.

I would also like for the females included in the student body at LHS and the middle schools to be provided with the opportunity to compete at a level equivalent to their male counterparts. They should not be turned away due to a lack of coaches or monetary support.

I would like a plan put into place that provides for the growth of involvement for females in athletics. The benefits of athletics to everyone, but specifically females for purposes mentioned herein, are too numerous to cover. Suffice it to say though, LHS and LISD is not doing its part to provide the means for females to reap these benefits.

I would like an in depth Title IX audit to be conducted with regards to the athletic program for the Longview Independent School District.

Do you have written information that you think will help us understand your complaint?

Yes

Click here to view coaching responsibilities documents.

Click here to view coaching salaries.

 

 

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