Equal access at Fountain Valley

After an investigation of Edison High started late last year by the U.S. Department of Education regarding equal access to equipment, coaching and medical facilities for female athletes, Baron Banner decided to look at access to Fountain Valley High equipment and facilities for both boys and girls sports.

We spoke to male and female athletes from basketball, soccer and track as well as coaches and athletic directors and asked them questions regarding equal access.

The athletic department stated in an email that they “believe in a fair and equitable educational environment for all students.” Both female and male athletes confirmed this notion.

Track member Auzeen Rahgoshay (‘18) noted gender does not play a factor in her coaches’ expectations.

“Our coaches believe that girls aren’t dolls…females are athletes too and should be trained regardless of gender,” Rahgoshay said.

She explained that coaches maintain an intense level of training, in weight lifting for example, for female athletes.

“We get trained the same way as the boys do,” said Rahgoshay.

Male members of track’s distance teams agreed.

“I feel that our school, both men and women, have equal access to both coaching and equipment, as such there appears to be no apparent gender discrimination,” said Kenneth Barrios (‘15).

Soccer players have similar access and mentioned that coaches from different sports and levels work hard to avoid scheduling and facility conflicts.

“We share the equipment equally,” said Karley Duda (‘17). “Both varsity boys and girls, know each other well and split the equipment, and our coaches respect each others space.”

According to varsity girls Coach Scott Goldman, collaboration between coaches helps maintain a cooperative atmosphere.

“It is a very fair arrangement,” Goldman stated. “We also work together to ensure that we arrange our training and game schedules to have as little conflict with each others programs as possible.”

The boys basketball teams had positive comments regarding the equity among the teams as well.

“I think [the boys and girls teams] are equal because there’s many cases where the varsity girls team had center court and varsity boys had to move to the side court… girls have their own time to be on the court and guys have their own time. I think it’s equal,” said former varsity basketball player Chris Meyer (‘16).

The girls basketball teams also stated the both teams had fair access to practice time in the gym.

Varsity captain Ashley Masuda (‘15) said, “For the most part, [the boys and girls teams] have equal access because they do give us times. Maybe they’re not necessarily the best times that we’d want all the time, but that’s just going to happen because of compromise.”

Equal access to facilities and treatment of boys and girls teams may not always be readily apparent. At the conclusion of a recent girls varsity basketball game, a Baron Banner reporter noticed that the team put away the chairs, when at the previous boys’ game the team moved immediately to their locker room.

In response to this observation, Co-Athletic Director Dawn Lawler said, “The players of all levels, coaches and parents for all gym sports help in the set up and teardown of the games each night.”

Later, Meyer noted that the first team to use the courts had to set up, while the last team to use the courts held the responsibility of cleaning up.

After looking at sports that share courts and fields, Baron Banner has found that girls and boys teams, coaches, and the athletic administrators work in concert to maintain fair and equal access to their respective arenas and equipment.

— Karen Trinh and Katrya Ly

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