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Lexington District One ends Title IX lawsuit

LEXINGTON, S.C. — Lexington County School District One’s Board of Trustees and its administrators are pleased to announce the settlement of a lawsuit brought against the district by Samuel L. and Tanya J. Light.

The Lights’ lawsuit, disputed by the district, alleged unequal treatment of the boys’ baseball and the girls’ softball programs at Lexington High School under Title IX.

Under the settlement agreement, the district does not admit to any Title IX violation.

Prior to the lawsuit, Lexington District One initiated a softball facility improvement plan for Lexington High with final features reflected in architectural drawings dated May 17, 2016 — weeks before the suit was filed.

The plan includes significant improvement to the softball facilities, and the district believes it brings the softball facilities on par with the baseball facilities, which were upgraded only last year. The baseball field was upgraded first because it was in the worse condition.

The plan includes dugout renovations; central heat and air improvements to the press box, concession stand and restrooms; drinking fountains; black aluminum perimeter fencing; lighting improvements; additional bleachers; concrete surfaces and access for handicapped spectators; a sound system; on-site equipment storage and signage; backstop netting; windscreen; and hitting facility renovations.

As a result of the suit, the district agreed to a few minor additions (press box flooring, furniture and a mobile batting cage) to its original plan for improvements to the softball facilities to eliminate any lingering questions about its compliance with Title IX.

The settlement agreement also highlights the district’s commitment to continuing existing practices such as ensuring that practice fields across the district are maintained; that the appropriate equipment is available; that weight rooms are available to both girls and boys; that trainers serve all sports; etc.

The district could have chosen to continue to defend the lawsuit, but felt to prolong its defense and divert its resources (time, effort and legal costs) away from the students was not in the best interest of the district or of the district’s children.

The district has always been and continues to remain committed to equal opportunities and access for all girls and boys in interscholastic athletic programs. Lexington District One has never favored one sport or group over another and is proud of that fact.

We continue to provide world-class opportunities to all our students in arts, athletics and athletics.

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