Mississippi school to settle sports discrimination claim

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MERIDIAN, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi school district says it will bolster spending on girls' sports as part of a proposed settlement of an antidiscrimination lawsuit.

The Meridian Star reports the proposed consent decree between parents Jeremy and Stacey Shields of Collinsville and the Lauderdale County school district was filed last week in federal court in Jackson.

The Shields complained in their 2017 lawsuit that the school district didn't give their softball-playing daughters the same access to funding as male baseball players.

The parents sued under Title IX, a federal law that bans discrimination based on sex.

The settlement says the school district will improve the softball field at West Lauderdale High School, will pay coaches in a way that doesn't favor those coaching boys' sports, give softball players equal access to weight training and make sure private boosters don't favor baseball over softball.

The district will also treat girls and boys equally in things like pep rallies, banquets and publicity.

The school district will pay the Shields' legal costs, but won't pay them monetary damages.

The proposed decree says the Lauderdale County school board will vote on the settlement at its next meeting.

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Information from: The Meridian Star, http://www.meridianstar.com


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