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Archive for June 22, 2017

June 22, 2017 — One missing piece

They held the graduation ceremony yesterday for Philadelphia Strawberry Mansion (Pa.) at the Independence Seaport Museum.

In attendance was Jazmine Smith, the lacrosse and field hockey impresario who has invested more than a year of time and some of her own money into bringing these two sports to the school, which at one time was the epitome of decay and violence in inner-city America, but has now brought hope to players in the Eyekonz field hockey and lacrosse programs, as well as the Mansion Knights varsity programs, which Smith has coached.

But next year, the high-school programs will no longer have Smith’s imprint. According to this ESPNW story, she was dismissed from varsity coaching just this past May, as the Knights’ lacrosse season ended.

The ESPNW story, plus this one from The Huffington Post, neatly show an interesting dance between the behemoth School District of the City of Philadelphia against a one-woman titanic Title IX tornado, having to fight to get everything from equipment to uniforms to transportation for the teams.

And it is that last element which was a particular sore spot for the Strawberry Mansion kids. On many gamedays this year, nobody within the School District of the City of Philadelphia bothered to schedule a bus for the Strawberry Mansion field hockey and lacrosse teams.

That, in an of itself, is a blatant and naked violation of federal law under Title IX of the 1972 Civil Rights Act.

Smith called the city out on it.

And was let go.

That does not sit right with me at all.  You’d think that, after the money damages that Tracey Greisbaum and her life partner won after filing suit against the University of Iowa, that other institutions of higher learning would have learned their lesson.

They haven’t.