To the student body of LOHS,
I’d like to start by fully disclosing that I am a baseball player who has been directly impacted by our school district’s response to the softball team’s Title IX lawsuit. Purely out of frustration, I could take the easy way out and point ngers at the softball team, but ultimately they’re not the ones to blame for this disaster. What started as the softball team’s struggle for recognition and equality has now exposed the incompetence and failure of the LOSD administration’s ability to reach a solution that proves to be bene cial for all. My goal in writing this is to simply provide the perspective of a baseball player, a voice that has been given no opportunity to speak until now.
Let’s clarify right away that any “solutions” created by the district aimed at satisfying the softball team’s requests are not only unacceptable, but destructive to the baseball program and student body of LOHS. Rather than healing the wounds of broken promises and neglect towards the softball team, the district has resorted to mending the situation by placing a band aid over a gash that calls for stitches.
Might I add that this issue isn’t anything new. For years, the softball team expressed to the district their need for better facilities and for years, they were ignored. Understandably, their patience ran out. A group can only take so many broken promises, delay tactics, deception and disrespect. If you haven’t heard already, the softball team was forced to le a class action Title IX lawsuit, and rightfully so. They cannot be blamed for defending themselves against a problem that is deeply rooted in failures by the district to provide the means necessary for equal athletic opportunities. Softball has been left down and now baseball has been pushed aside.
And now here we are, two different sports programs crammed onto one eld that can barely support the existing baseball program. The pitcher’s mound has been butchered and the team room has been banned from our use. In its place, a monster has taken form, a monster in the shape of a portable fence, a removable mound, scheduling nightmares, dangerous eld hazards and much more.
This, however, is just the beginning of something much more damaging and frightening. In reaction to the lawsuit, the administration has made devastating decisions and rule implementations that will ravage sports teams throughout the district. Without getting into all the miniscule details of how every single male and female sports team must be equal, just envision two divorced lawyers settling an estate of he gets this and she gets that and where all of the property is literally cut in half with laser precision. Who cares that the now halved property of the baseball eld has been diminished to ruins. Who cares that we have no control over practice times, eld schedules, locker rooms and how to allocate private money. They own us and we must submit to their corruption.
How does this happen in the land of liberty? So here we are, a successful, steady baseball program being burdened with a problem that is not and never has been ours. Yes, this is somehow our fault. Yes, we have been framed as the oppressor, the evil force behind all this inequity and now it is time that we face justice the Title IX way. This is the outrageous part of it all, where the incompetent leadership dwells. Yes, we must be the sacri ce.
Never once did we do anything wrong, yet we must suffer at the hands of district administrators. Throughout countless news articles covering this issue, we are never once represented, never once defended. Instead, we were framed as the perpetrators of this mess and for no reason at all except that we embody a strong sports program built on the blood and sweat of coaches and parents dedicated to excellence. Year after year, the baseball program faithfully represents this school, yet now the district has turned its back on us. The true sadness lies not only in this, but in the ways that the hatchet of equality is severing the relationships of the boys and girls, and the community of parents. Our district administration who claims to do everything in their power to better our school has failed. A ne exam- ple these leaders have demonstrated for the next generation.
What I ask of us as a student body is that we not turn against one another, that we not fall into that trap the district has placed. Instead, let us rise above this and support each other. Continue in the di- rection of greatness, remain unbreakable. The school district’s actions can’t de ne us and they will not divide us. We are Lakers and we will do things the Laker way.