Weber School District, the only one of six Utah school systems named in a sex discrimination complaint not to have addressed the issue, may be subject to an on-site investigation by the federal Office of Civil Rights.
Meantime, OCR Regional Director Gilbert Roman says the Weber school board's charge that his office is "blackmailing" the district into adding soccer and softball as sports for female athletes is "ludicrous."On Tuesday, the Weber school board took no action on a proposal from the Ogden school board to make a joint resolution to add the two sports. Weber board members said they felt OCR was using the threat of the complaint and investigation to force them into a decision.
But Roman said a recent letter, stating that approving the girls sports would result in the complaint and probe being dropped, was not a threat.
"If the sports are sanctioned by the districts, we no longer have a case with them. It's a moot point . . . I think it's ludicrous to be charged with blackmail," he said. "To be blackmailed, you have to have something to gain. I have nothing to gain. The only people to gain are female athletes."
The issue arose in December when Roy resident Joe Langeveld filed a complaint against six northern Utah school districts alleging violation of Title IX. He said the districts offer varsity soccer teams for boys but not for girls.
In early January, under the threat of the complaint, the Utah High School Activities Association sanctioned soccer and softball as varsity sports for girls. The Logan, Cache, Box Elder, Ogden and Davis districts have since notified OCR that they will be adding the sports.