Complaint Filed Against DCPS For Gender Discrimination | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Complaint Filed Against DCPS For Gender Discrimination

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Kendra Johnson, a former DCPS basketball athlete, who is now a sophomore at Winstem-Salem, and her mom Janice Johnson, founder of the Sankofa Project.
Markette Smith
Kendra Johnson, a former DCPS basketball athlete, who is now a sophomore at Winstem-Salem, and her mom Janice Johnson, founder of the Sankofa Project.

The National Women's Law Center has filed a Title IX complaint against D.C. Public Schools, stating girls are left on the sidelines when it comes to athletic programs.

The complaint, filed with the U.S. Department of Education, calls for an investigation into the D.C. Public School system's compliance with Title IX, which prohibits gender-based discrimination in federally funded education programs, including athletics.

"There are concerns that we hear from parents about coaching, and that the girls aren't getting the same level of coaching as the boys teams," says Neena Chaudrhy, an attorney with the Center. "This is really affecting their ability to get athletic scholarships."

Janice Johnson, says she — along with other determined parents — took matters into her own hands when she noticed a lack of funding in her daughter's basketball program at H.D. Woodson.

"We bought uniforms," she says. "There was no money in the budget for D.C. public schools to buy uniforms and shoes and things, and our girls wanna look good. You play good if you're fresh, and you look like a team, and everybody's got the same shoes, the same socks, the same uniforms."

Johnson says with the parent's involvement, all of the senior girls got athletic scholarships. She now runs a non-profit, The Sankofa Project, to help more girls in public school athletics programs.

A DCPS spokesperson told the Washington Post, school officials look forward to correcting their record.

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