Collinsville District Lawsuit: Discrimination Against Female Teams

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In 2017, Jeremy and Stacey Shields filed a lawsuit that claims the school district of Collinsville and the Lauderdale County didn’t give their softball-playing daughters the same treatment as male baseball players. Some treatment they stated were funding, equipment, scholarship opportunities, and travel expenses.

They sued the district under Title IX, a law that bans discriminations based on sex.

Finally, after the trial that happened in September of 2018, a Mississippi school district decided to implement change. It says it will definitively increase spending on girls’ sports and improve the softball field at West Lauderdale High School. They will also aim to pay coaches for female teams in a way that doesn’t favor those coaching boys’ sports, giving softball players equal access to weight training as well as making sure private boosters don’t favor baseball over softball.

The settlement also states that the district will pay the Shields’ legal costs, but not provide any monetary losses.


What Happened?

Softball player hitting a pitch thrown at her.

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In 2017, Jeremy and Stacy Shields of Collinsville filed a lawsuit, stating that their daughters are being discriminated against as female athletes. They also claimed that as softball players, they were not given the same opportunities and access as the baseball team. One example the Shields gave was that their older daughter, who is a graduate from West Lauderdale, was required to purchase many athletic types of equipment and supplies as a softball player.

Her daughter also didn’t have access to the school district’s athletic bus while West Lauderdale’s baseball team does. They also claim that the softball fields are rundown compared to their baseball and football counterparts in many ways, such as lighting, and the press box construction.