Title IX is an important federal law that helps protect the rights of students in both academic and athletic environments. The right to equal access to athletics is an important part of secondary education in the United States.
Not only do students deserve access to facilities and teams that have proper coaching and funding, but they may also require medical support to train and compete in a sport. Athletic trainers help make sports participation safer for students.
Unfortunately, the ways that schools provide support in the form of athletic trainers can sometimes be discriminatory.
How schools might discriminate in regard to athletic trainers
There are several ways in which schools can make their athletic support less fair for some students than others. An example would be prioritizing one sport over another. Instead of ensuring there is adequate professional support for everyone, the athletic director at your school might send the athletic trainer with the football team, leaving every other team without support while they practice on campus.
On the other hand, the placement of the athletic trainer’s facilities could cause an issue. Many older schools have them in the boys’ locker rooms, which might expose female athletes to harassment and deter them from going to seek treatment or preventative support, like having their joints wrapped.
When there is an obvious, systemic issue with how your school provides athletic trainer support for different teams, its actions could constitute discrimination and be a violation of your rights under Title IX. Learning more about Title IX can help you invoke its protections and improve fair access for students at a school.