Archive for Friday, July 29, 2005

LHS girls finally to get equal locker room

And they won’t have to walk through boys’ room

July 29, 2005


After 50 years of unequal athletics facilities for girls, Lawrence High School finally is catching up with the times.

Tripling the size of the girls' locker room to make it equal to the boys' locker room is one highlight of the $3.6 million renovation and construction plan slated to begin in the spring.

"We're treating girls' sports like we have treated boys' sports for 50 years," said Tom Bracciano, the district's operations and facility planning director.

The locker rooms haven't changed much since the school was built in 1954. In those days, the focus was on boys' sports. But times have changed.

"There's a lot more girls involved in sports today than there used to be, so they definitely need more room," said Jenica Wessels, a Lawrence High student who runs cross country track and plays basketball and soccer. "I definitely think that girls deserve to have just as big of a locker room."

Currently, the girls' locker rooms are about a third the size of the boys'.

"During track and field season, there's like three sports in there," said Abby Vestal, a soccer and basketball player. "There's no place to walk around or anything. You start to hear the gripe: "There's no space. There's no place to change.'"

This rendering by GLPM Architects Inc. shows the planned east gym expansion at Lawrence High School. The $3.6 million project also will triple the size of the girls' locker room.

This rendering by GLPM Architects Inc. shows the planned east gym expansion at Lawrence High School. The $3.6 million project also will triple the size of the girls' locker room.

And girls often have to walk through the boys' locker room to get to the weight training room.

What's that like?

"Smelly," said Mallory West, a gymnast, diver and cheerleader.

Associate Principal Matt Brungardt said the school hasn't had any formal complaints, but some have commented about the walk to the weight room.

"We've had some of our female coaches point out that they don't think it's fair," he said. "It's been a concern of everybody. It's not equitable, and it's not right that the women would have to do that."

The conditions could raise issues with Title IX, the federal law that bars sex discrimination in education, Bracciano said.

The planned improvements were part of the 2003 bond proposal, which voters rejected. It now is part of the $63 million bond project.

The Lawrence High project includes several new science rooms and additions and renovations to the East Gym area. The exercise room and the boys' and girls' locker rooms will be updated. The gymnasium entrance will get a face lift. It will become a public entrance for sporting events.

And female athletes will get the locker room changes, though some may not notice.

"It's not really a big deal to me," said Drew Huff who plays basketball and softball. "I think the guys are in the locker room more than the girls are."


Manson 12 years, 6 months ago

Title XI is the worst thing to happen to scholastic sports. The reality about sports in High School and College is that the Men's atletics can generate the revenue to pay for it's costs. In some cases profit from it. It's affirmitave action for sports.

Shardwurm 12 years, 6 months ago

Spoken by someone who doesn't have a daughter in athletics.

I concur that men's athletics generate more revenue than women's sports. I also understand there is more interest in men's athletics. But that does not justify blatant discrimination against women in our schools. This may come as a surprise to you, but women are people too and should be treated as such.

  1. I generate revenue with my job. Why should I share any of it through taxation to improve the lives of others? Afterall, they're homeless because they can't hack it right?

  2. The Yankees generate more revenue than the Royals. Why should they share it with 'lesser' teams.

  3. As a parent should I give more support to my son because in the long run he's going to earn more than my daughter?

Your argument is flawed and demonstrates nothing but your complete ignorance. As parents we spend our entire lives trying to convince our daughters that they are worthy, equal, and able to go out and make something of themselves.

Despite that, they run into morons like you. Amazing.

John1945 12 years, 6 months ago

Ah yes, Shardwurm doesn't have an argument to persuade Manson and so reaches for the usual ad hominem argument of the truly ignorant by calling him a moron. How tasteful, how predictable.

Perhaps the young ladies could get a lawyer and sue the school district so that the Supreme Court would force the taxpayers to spend yet millions more on our failed government schools.

And, as for Shardwurm's three examples, why would believing in the correctness of any of the three arguments make anyone a moron except that they disagree with Shardwurm?

Why should I give money to the poor? Isn't that just an example of Shardwurm imposing her/his/its tired old morals on me?

Why should the Yankees share their income with other teams. What gives anyone else a claim on their earnings?

And, quite frankly, why would I give a hoot what Shardwurm does to support her/his/its children, unless they're telling us that they're an unfit parent.

Of course, then there's the ultimate irony. Shardwurm doesn't have the answers, so everyone else is the moron.

Mirror anyone?

megorama 12 years, 6 months ago

OH OH OH! ME ME ME! Can I be the next moron!!?!?!?

J Good Good 12 years, 6 months ago

I can't believe people can really argue that Title XI is a bad thing considering the benefits of sports for everyone. Helps kids be healthy, stay in school, learn sportsmanship and fair play. Girls need these things too.

Besides, if men's college sports bring in so much revenue, why is the athletic department always totally gouging people? I'm not being sarcastic, I just don't understand that argument.

Shardwurm 12 years, 6 months ago appears that the use of irony is beyond the capablities of multiple people.

Regardless, discrimination based on sex is ignorant. I don't care whether you like the insults or not.

People need to get out of the 1950s.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.