An upbeat website for a downtown school

the Southerner Online

An upbeat website for a downtown school

the Southerner Online

An upbeat website for a downtown school

the Southerner Online

School lunches allow some food insecure children to eat during the day. However, when school is out for the summer, federal and state-sponsored programs give these children access to meals.
Governer Brian Kemp rejects federal summer food plan
Brennan FrittsMay 24, 2024

Governor Brian Kemp declined Georgia's participation in the federally-sponsored Summer Food Service Program in favor of state-sponsored plans,...

Title IX violation filed against Midtown golf team due to recent inequalities

Julia Williams
Junior and captain of the Midtown girls golf team Julia Williams competes at area in order to qualify for state.

In the recent NCAA women’s basketball championship on April 7, history was made while recognizing the achievement of all athletes who advocated for equality and recognition for women’s sports around the world. However, in the Midtown community, inequalities between girls and boys sports teams are still ever present.

Junior and captain of the girls golf team, Julia Williams has noticed drastic changes in the golf program over the course of her three years on the team.

“As I’ve spent more time with the team, especially going into this junior year, the guys have had a lot more benefits than we have in terms of practice facilities, coaching, match time and practicing time,” Williams said.

After noticing these changes, Williams said she attempted to do everything she could to stand up for herself and her fellow teammates. However, no action was taken to address these inequalities.

“I’ve been the leader of this team for so long and I feel like I’m just not doing anything to help the team because I’ve done everything I can to try to get those things fixed and nothing’s really come of it,” Williams said. “I feel like it’s like an injustice not just towards me, but to the whole team and in no way is it fair.”

This year, these changes have escalated into a Title IX violation which is defined as the discrimination on the basis of sex. Julia’s father David Williams, who filed the violation, said he did it on account of teaching his daughter to stand up for her rights.

“This is not up to me,” David Williams said. “This is up to the girls. The number one purpose is a life lesson, you need to defend your rights under Title IX. You need to stand up for yourself and going forward this is going to happen to you in life, and you need to decide how you’re going to handle it. My role is just to assist, but they’re the ones that need to make the decisions on this. APS just dropped the ball.”

After weeks of silence, APS denied this violation in a personal email to David Williams. However, after seeing no action from APS to address any of his complaints or inequalities, Williams said he remains extremely frustrated with the lack of initiative taken to ensure equality for the girls team. Midtown Athletic Director Blair Barksdale declined to comment.

“I think the school needs to be more open with dialogue about it,” David Williams said. “If there’s an issue that comes up, they need to be proactive. This whole thing could have been corrected with 20 minutes sitting around a table, but they chose to not respond and just assume that it’s going to go away. That’s not the way the world works anymore, so hopefully, this is a lesson for them as well.”

Julia Williams believes the initial uneven distribution of resources was based on account of talent. However, despite little to no access to coaching staff, Williams has qualified for state every year as an individual. Next year, Williams’ goal is to bring the whole team with her.

“Obviously I would like for the girls to go with me and there’s no way for the girls to improve and up that chance if they’re not being helped, if we’re not practicing at good facilities and if we don’t have a coach,” Williams said. “There’s no way to balance out that inequality of skill if we don’t get help. If anything, it is just going to keep going further and further.”

Member of the girls golf team, junior Chase Hopkins has observed these inequalities that are replicated throughout womens sports. She struggles to see how a talent gap can be addressed if the girls team is not receiving the same resources that will foster their growth and improvement.

“There is a common theme in women’s sports that women aren’t as talented and shouldn’t be in the spotlight, even when we have athletes who outperform the boys,” Hopkins said. “I definitely think things need to change for next year if they want to see girls returning for the next season.”

In recent years, women’s sports have made great gains in narrowing the gap between resources, funding and recognition. During the recent NCAA women’s basketball championship, a record breaking 18.7 million viewers tuned in, making it the first time that a women’s final has drawn a larger TV audience than the men’s, according to ESPN. David Williams said he has seen these achievements reflected throughout the Midtown community.

“It doesn’t appear that the other teams are having these problems,” David Williams said. “That’s why I believe there’s a lot of shock with the other girls on the team because they haven’t really been treated this way. I think it’s probably because the girls golf team is relatively new and there’s not a lot of participants.”

With the world finally catching up to putting funding and resources into womens sports, and the Midtown girls basketball teams historic run, Williams hopes this pattern of success and advancement in women’s sports can be seen for the future of the girls golf team.

“People see golf as a man’s sport,” Williams said. “Every person that you see golfing is almost always a man, so inequality in golf is definitely a big thing. I just think that women still aren’t really being taken seriously in sports. I think our girl’s basketball team proves that we’re better than the guys in a lot of scenarios and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be held up on the pedestal next to them.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Molly Thompson
Molly Thompson, A&E Associate Managing Editor
Molly Thompson is a junior in her third year on the Southerner staff. She is a member of the cross country team and plays soccer. Apart from school and sports, Molly loves spending time with her friends, reading, and hanging out with her pets.

Comments (0)

The Southerner intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. Furthermore, we do not permit any of the following inappropriate content including: Libel or defamatory statements, any copyrighted, trademarked or intellectual property of others, the use of profanity and foul language or personal attacks. All comments are reviewed and approved by staff to ensure that they meet these standards. The Southerner does not allow anonymous comments, and requires a name and valid email address submitted that are variable. This email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments. Online comments that are found in violation of these policies will be removed as quickly as possible.
All the Southerner Online Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *