A concerned parent addressed the Enterprise City Schools Board of Education at its Dec. 14 board meeting over perceived inequality in girls athletics at Dauphin Junior High School.
Parent Mary Lamm – who said she has children at both DJHS and Enterprise High School – said her primary concern was over the fact that all girl athletes are required to try out for their sports but not all boys.
Lamm presented the board with a presentation highlighting that 100 percent of female athletes at DJHS are required to try out for their sports – volleyball and basketball – but just “four percent of the male athletes had to tryout to be a part of the athletic program.”
Enterprise Superintendent Dr. Zel Thomas spoke to The Sun and pointed out that the boys and girls tryout numbers are so skewed because football players don’t tryout. In fact, football is the only sport – boys or girls – that doesn’t require tryouts, and that all boys at DJHS and the other schools have to try out for basketball. Thomas also pointed out that girls are allowed to play on the football team, as well.
Another issue that Lamm had with the tryouts is that DJHS only has 10 roster spots for the girls basketball team and more than 20 for the boys, but Thomas said the reason for that is that the boys have a seventh and eighth grade team, while the girls have just one junior high team. The reason for that is that other teams in the area – that DJHS plays – only have one girls junior high/middle school team. Thomas also acknowledged that more than 50 boys tried out for the basketball team and less than 20 tried out for the girls.
Hamm, though, feels that at the junior high level all students that want to play should be allowed. Thomas acknowledged that all sports across ECS – except for football – are required to try out and it isn’t just at DJHS. He also pointed out that youth league sports are available for students that do not require tryouts.
Another issue that Lamm said she had was that a number of her emails to members of the administration were not responded to leading to her filing a complaint with the state.
“I sent many emails out and some of them went unanswered even though I was following the grievance guidelines set by the school board and because of this I have filed a complaint with the Department of Education in their Office of Civil Rights,” Lamm said. “I would like to say that it bothered me that I received no response from my emails and that is why I went ahead and took this action. I would hope that you take a look at these numbers and see that there is an inequity that needs to be dealt with.”
Thomas acknowledged that he did not respond to some of her emails but says that he had another member of the administrative office contact Lamm via telephone instead to discuss her concerns. Lamm’s daughter also started a petition to get the school’s requirement for tryouts changed. Lamm also gave the board a proposal to adopt a new gender neutral dress code at the school.
In other business, the board approved bids to refinish the gym floor at EHS, the purchase of aluminum bleachers for the new baseball/softball complex and a printer for Enterprise Early Education Center and Pinedale Elementary for the printing of posters and banners. The cost of the bleachers is $48,292 and Outdoor Aluminum Inc. in Geneva will be supplying them. The total cost of the gym refinishing project – by Alabama Gym Floors – will be $41,455 for the competition gym and $18,000 for the PE gym. The poster printer will cost $9,995.
The board also approved the following personnel matters.
Gabrielle Duke, math teacher, Dauphin Junior High;
Mary Witherspoon, custodian, Holly Hill Elementary;
Lucinda Thompson, CNP worker, Enterprise City Schools;
Megan Luker, math specialist, Hillcrest Elementary;
Deborah Dozier, sixth grade teacher, Harrand Creek Elementary;
Lisha Ming, first grade teacher, Hillcrest Elementary;
Nicholas Leszcynski, instructional aide, Enterprise High;
Carissa Watford, social science teacher, Enterprise High;
Susan Parker, special education nurse, Enterprise High;
Shelly Darlington, clerical aide, Hillcrest Elementary;
Carly Pollard, special education teacher, Enterprise High;
Kayla Hilburn, CNP worker, Enterprise City Schools;
Rick Darlington, head varsity football coach, Enterprise High;
Shelby Turner, third grade teacher, Harrand Creek Elementary;
Amanda Walker, bus driver, Enterprise City Schools;
Sandra Cole, custodian, Enterprise Early Education Center;
Daniel Johnson, custodian, Enterprise City Schools;
Jed Kennedy, football coach/PE teacher, Enterprise High;
Chrystal Thomas, CNP worker at Enterprise City Schools, to custodian at Enterprise High;
Tracie Olson, instructional aide, Hillcrest Elementary;
Stanley Schmidt, bus driver, Enterprise City Schools;
Floyd Graham, social science teacher, Enterprise High;
Leah Solomon, third grade teacher, Hillcrest Elementary;
Carly Pollard, contract coach, Enterprise High;
Anna Kelley, music teacher, Pinedale Elementary;
Amanda Walker, substitute bus driver, Enterprise City Schools;
William Mixson, bus driver, Enterprise City Schools;
Jennifer Parker, Pre-K Aide, Enterprise City Schools;
Kaylor Hataway, third grade teacher, Harrand Creek Elementary;
Mary Evelyn Owens Jordan, head boys tennis coach, Enterprise High;
Carly Pollard, competition cheer coach, Enterprise High; and
William Massey, head custodian, Dauphin Junior High.