Boys and girls studying contemp dance in dancing studio


Inside the Law: Title IX

October 22, 2018 - 4:30 am

By Amy E. Feldman, Judge Technology Solutions​

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- A Minnesota boy sued a dance league because it doesn’t allow boys to participate. Is that illegal?

From Mikhail Baryshnikov to Michael Jackson, some of the world's best dancers are men. 

But a Minnesota high school dance league apparently doesn't care.

It has a policy preventing boys from participating, so two 16-year-old boys have sued to be allowed to compete, claiming a violation of their rights under Title IX of the federal Education Amendments Act of 1972.  

That law requires that girls and boys be provided equitable opportunities to participate in sports.

But note the difference between equitable and identical. 

Title IX only requires schools to provide boys and girls an equal opportunity to participate in sports. But schools are not required to offer the same sport for each sex. So, schools can have a single sex sports team even if they don't offer the same sport to the other gender. While the case plays out in the court, several high school dance leagues in other states have suspended their no boys allowed rules. 

And even if they don't get to dance, the boys should know that they do let boys be lawyers these days, so they may have a promising career in law if dance doesn't work out for them.