A report from Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) on Thursday highlighted growing concern about gender disparity in sports at some of the state’s largest districts. That included Beaverton, where parents are reportedly crying foul about additional financial requirements for girls sports that come in the offseason.
Beaverton, of course, is the home of Nike, the $75 billion company that is a huge economic driver for the outer Portland suburb’s economy.
This isn’t a problem that is isolated to Oregon, and it’s not one with a universal, simple solution, either.
But according to OPB’s reporting, there are a couple clear indicators that — on the heels of a Title IX investigation and likely lawsuit in Lake Oswego (the alma mater of Kevin Love) — the Beaverton school district may be in trouble, particularly regarding some out of season activities that parents of girls sports teams have described as mandatory.
Camps and clinics for sports like basketball and soccer can cost families hundreds of dollars. Some Beaverton parents say attendance is often mandatory to get on a team. If true, that may violate state athletic association guidelines.
“It became pretty clear there’s a problem going on,” said Linda Nezbeda, the founder of Beaverton Community for Education, a nonprofit mainly focused on running after-school programs.
Nezbeda said the camps tend to charge girls more than they charge boys.
“For the girls, it could cost $200-$400 extra for, let’s say, two camps,” Nezbeda said. “While for respective boys, it’s free or like $20.”
According to school district documents, officials investigated five different allegations of Title IX violations regarding insufficient facilities or unequal treatment at Aloha and Southridge High Schools. Still, these investigations didn’t focus on offseason activities, which means the complaints raised by some parents may not have been considered.
There are far more details about the situation in Beaverton in OPB’s reporting, which you can find right here. Either way, it appears likely something is going to change in Beaverton, either voluntarily or with a bit more legal force.