A Fulton County school district is leveling the playing field, quite literally, to make sure boys and girls have the same athletic opportunities. Maria Valvanis has more on a recent agreement which helps fulfill a decades old federal law.
GLOVERSVILLE, N.Y. -- Whether you're a girl or a boy, play football or soccer, school officials in the Gloversville Enlarged School District say everyone is treated the same.
"We never wanted anybody to get the idea that we don't have equal opportunities for boys and girls," said Michael Vanyo.
But back in 2011, a parent of a girl student-athlete saw it as being the case, so she filed a complaint with the U.S. Education Department's Office of Civil Rights.
Michael DeMagistris said, "They came in and interviewed all of our coaches, looked at all of our equipment, looked at things we had purchased in the past and everything came out equal."
"They really had three recommendations and that we work together on that," said Vanyo.
Last Friday, the school signed an agreement with the OCR to follow three recommendations. The first was to make sure the field that's used for varsity soccer and field hockey games is mowed to precisely 1.5 inches. The second was to make sure the school's new softballs fields had proper drainage and the third was to provide the varsity girls softball team with the opportunity to play night games under the lights, like the boys baseball team does.
Michael DeMagistris said, "About a mile and a half from our high school campus, they have lights there and were going to play games there."
The Office of Civil Rights will continue to monitor the school's athletic program, watching for any red flags. An extra set of the eyes school officials welcome.
"Athletics are an important part of the whole student life. We want to take pride that we have equal opportunities for boys and girls," said Vanyo.
That way, everyone is winning.