Wooden bleachers

Wooden bleachers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, April 2,, 2014:

Thanks to bleacher envy, mission creep, and Title IX, Plymouth High School in Michigan has been ordered by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to tear down the bleachers overlooking the boys’ baseball diamond.

An anonymous tipster notified the OCR that the boys’ bleachers were nicer than the girls’, and something had to be done. It wasn’t fair. It wasn’t equal. It wasn’t right. Sure enough, after its “investigation” into this travesty, the OCR threatened Plymouth High with fines unless they tore it down.

The school’s superintendent agreed. After all, he said, he wanted to be “fair” to everyone. But the school doesn’t have the money to rebuild them to make them “equal” to the girls’ bleachers, so they’re just going to be stored away. In the interest of fairness, parents wanting to watch their kids play baseball at the boys’ diamond will have to stand.

What’s particularly annoying about this intrusion is that the bleachers were built six years ago by the parents. Said Dan Gilbert, one of those who contributed funds and sweat, said “It was hard to watch the game through the black chain link fence, so we created our seating deck to sit above it.” They also bought a new scoreboard, too.

Thanks to busybodies like the anonymous tipster and bleacher envy, the has gotten involved in something not too many years ago would have been considered inconsequential if not unconstitutional. But mission creep has expanded the government’s role – as it has nearly everywhere else – into such things as equality of bleachers.

The language of the 1964 Civil Rights Act said nothing about athletics. But President Johnson issued Executive Order 11375 outlawing discrimination on the basis of in hiring – in order to be fair and equal – in 1967. Two years later Bernice Sandler used it in her fight to keep her job at the University of Maryland.

After that, Sandler joined the House Committee on High Education where she and another busybody, Rep. Edith Green, proposed Title IX to expand the 1964 act. Its focus was on hiring and employment practices at institutions taking federal money. It said nothing about athletics.

Busybody Senator Birch Bayh saw his opportunity, and he took it. He drafted, promoted, and helped pass Title IX in the Senate, bragging about the increase in federal power it granted the government, all in the interests of fairness and equality:

While the of this amendment would be far-reaching it is not a panacea. It is, however, an important first step in the effort to provide for the women of America something that is rightfully theirs – an equal chance to attend the schools of their choice, to develop the skills they want, and to apply those skills with the knowledge that they will have a fair chance to secure the jobs of their choice with equal pay for equal work.

Still nothing was said about athletics.

In 1975 the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) was split into the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Education (ED). The enforcement arm, the OCR, was given to the ED.

In 1984, there was a brief victory for freedom when the Supreme Court ruled in Grove City College v. Bell that Title IX only applied to institutions receiving direct federal aid. That loophole was closed in 1988 when Congress, ever mindful of the need to be fair and equal, passed the Civil Rights Restoration Act which extended Title IX to all programs of any education institution that received any federal funding, directly or indirectly.

Still nothing was said about athletics.

In 1994 that oversight was corrected when Congress passed the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act, requiring higher education institutions to disclose information on sports teams’ rosters, funding, budgets for recruiting, and so on.

In 2006 Title IX regs were further expanded to the primary and secondary schools as well. Today, Title IX covers everything. This is from the Federal Register:

Title IX applies to an entire school or institution if any part of that school receives federal funds; hence, athletic programs are subject to Title IX even though there is very little direct federal funding of school sports.

And that is how the camel’s nose in the tent eventually allows the camel to take over the tent.

President Obama thinks Title IX is wonderful. In June 2012, he celebrated its 40th anniversary, reiterating is goal of fairness and equality:

Title IX ensures equality for our young people in every aspect of their education. It’s a springboard for success.

As president, I’ll do my part to keep Title IX strong and vibrant, and maintain our schools as doorways of opportunity so every child has a fair shot at success.

The fatal flaw in the “fair” and “equal” mantra is its propensity to hide the real agenda of totalitarians like Bayh and Obama and other busybodies. As noted during the March 20 Glenn Beck Show, Rabbi Daniel Lapin said:

For those seeking to increase tyranny and totalitarianism, fairness and equality is a great thing to work people up about, because you essentially get a population – particularly a docile population – to agree to almost anything in the name of equality and fairness….

Freedom is being eroded steadily … in the name of equality.

The combination of busybodies, totalitarians, bleacher envy, mission creep and Title IX is toxic to freedom. Just ask Dan Gilbert.



Godfather : School Bleachers Torn Down Because They Weren’t “Equal”

Tea Party: DOJ says boys’ baseball field is nicer than girls’ field, must be torn down

Yahoo: Baseball parents ordered to take down seats deemed superior to softball bleachers

MyFoxDetroit: Brand new set of baseball bleachers torn down after ruling that girls softball team’s seats must be equal

Definitions of Egalitarianism

History of Title IX

The Blaze: What Two Words Do Those ‘Seeking to Increase Tyranny and Totalitarianism’ Tend to Use?

Obama marks 1972 law lifting education barriers to girls

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