Grievance Procedure Moves Forward For Family

Submitted by:
Xavier Walton, xwalton@k2tv.com
Last week we ran a story on an 11-year-old boy who wasn't allowed to play volleyball this season because of his gender.

This week his mother filed her grievance letter as part of the grievance procedure and despite the volleyball season nearing it's end, she says it's not just about this year.

K2's Xavier Walton tackles the issue that's grabbing national attention.

                                                      

Like a fish out of water, Jathan spent most of this season playing in his own backyard. However, Jathan remained in high spirits, largely in thanks to his mother.

"Not just my son, but all boy need someone to stick up for them," said Jamie Wilson, Jathan's mother.

Despite the final game of this volleyball season being a few weeks away, Mrs. Wilson continues to fight, this week with her words.

"My son Jathan is a 6th grader at Centennial Junior High School.  My son was not allowed to play volleyball because it was not co-ed," said Wilson.  "As per step 2 I am filing a formal complaint of the grievance procedure in reference to sexual discrimination."

The answer from the Natrona County School District and Wyoming High School Activities Association seems transparent.

"We would be displacing an opportunity for a young lady on the team," said Terry Hooker, N.C.S.D. Athletic Director.

"It's very clear in our  rules that girls cannot play on a girls team," said Trevor Wilson, W.H.S.A.A. Assoc. Commissioner.

But despite their transparency, there's a small corner of the story that remains unturned.

Cruize Wilson, Jathan's older brother- a boy, played on the Centennial Junior High Volleyball Team three years ago

"I was the only boy to play in history of Centennial volleyball," said Cruize, Jathan's Older Brother.

Initially I said this story was a Title IX inequality issue, but after hearing that part of the story, I'd say the ball is in someone else's court.

"Schools give boys far more sports experiences than they give girls," said Nancy Hogshead-Makar, Women Sports Foundation's Senior Director of Advocacy.  "They may give them equal number of teams, but who cares about numbers of teams. We care about how many slots are there, how many real opportunities are there to participate in sports."

If anyone, Nancy, a three-time Olympic Gold Medalist and member of 12 different hall of fames, would be the person to listen to.

"If the school wants to start a boys volleyball team they are perfectly free to do so," said Hogshead-Makar.

So rather than looking at Title IX, which has provided thousands with millions of opportunities, lets go back to where we started, in someone's backyard.

"From our surveys we do not have interest by the boys to start a volleyball team," said Hooker.