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Title IX Cases Dropped Against All But One Idaho District

Nearly 100 high schools in Idaho have been cleared of potential Title IX violations by the U.S. Department of Education's office for civil rights, after a complaint was filed earlier this summer.

The Meridian school district still remains under investigation for Title IX violations by the OCR, however.

Dept. of Ed. spokesman Jim Bradshaw confirmed in an email to the Times-News last week that all cases besides the one against Meridian had been dropped.

"OCR has dismissed all but one of these complaints because the information provided in support of the allegations did not indicate a potential violation of the Title IX requirement to equally effectively accommodate the interests and abilities of both sexes," Bradshaw wrote.

The original complaint alleged that 100 Idaho high schools in 78 school districts did not provide equal athletic opportunities to female student-athletes, as required by Title IX.

The complaint also accused certain schools of having a disproportionately small number of female athletes compared with their total female population, which would be a clear violation of Title IX, if true.

Based on the information presented in the complaint, however, the OCR did not find enough evidence to continue an investigation into anywhere besides Meridian, the state's largest district.

Idaho High School Activities Association Executive Director John Billetz told the Times-News that a number of schools in the state participated in Title IX training after the complaint was filed.

"I don't want to say the complaints were frivolous, because that would tick some people off. But we took it seriously. We called the office of (sic) civil rights and found out what we needed to do here and we got a hold of a lady out of Oregon, Linda Mangle, and the Idaho state department of education," Billetz said. "We were optimistic that we were going to be OK, but you never know how it is (going to turn out)."

It's unclear what separated Meridian from the rest of the accused districts, although Billetz suggested last fall that Meridian was "in effect taking the bullet for the rest of the state," according to the paper.

Last month, a similar Title IX case against 60 Oregon school districts was dropped by the OCR.

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