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AGO Opinions with Topic: ATHLETIC PROGRAMS
AGO 1990 No. 12 >  October 20, 1990
DISTRICTS - SCHOOLS - ATHLETIC PROGRAMS - EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT - SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION - REGULATIONS
DISTRICTS--SCHOOLS--ATHLETIC PROGRAMS--EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT--SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION--REGULATIONS 1.  RCW 28A.85.020 and .030 provide that the Superintendent of Public Instruction shall develop regulations to eliminate sex discrimination in the public schools, but RCW 28A.85.020(3) provides that school districts may offer separate but equal athletic teams for each sex.  The Superintendent thus is not authorized to adopt the portions of WAC 392-190-025 and -035 that limit school districts' ability to provide or sponsor separate but equal athletic teams for males and females.  To have separate but equal athletic teams, however, school districts must comply also with constitutional restrictions.   2.  RCW 28A.85.020 and .030 provide that the Superintendent of Public Instruction shall develop regulations to eliminate sex discrimination in the public schools, but RCW 28A.85.020(4) provides that separation is permitted within physical education classes.  The Superintendent thus is not authorized to adopt the portions of WAC 392-190-050 that limit school districts' ability to provide separate but equal physical education classes for males and females.  To have separate but equal physical education classes, however, school districts must comply also with constitutional restrictions.    3.  RCW 28A.85.020 and .030 and WAC 392-190 may apply to the use of school district playing fields by private sports leagues.  The application of these statutes and administrative rules depends on the nature of the relationship between the school district and the private sports league.
AGO 1976 No. 8 >  March 17, 1976
DISTRICTS - SCHOOLS - ATHLETIC PROGRAMS - EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT - CONSTITUTIONALITY OF SEPARATE ATHLETIC TEAMS FOR BOYS AND GIRLS
DISTRICTS ‑- SCHOOLS ‑- ATHLETIC PROGRAMS ‑- EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT ‑- CONSTITUTIONALITY OF SEPARATE ATHLETIC TEAMS FOR BOYS AND GIRLS (1) Under Article XXXI, § 1 (Amendment 61) of the Washington constitution, commonly referred to as the state equal rights amendment, as construed and applied by the Washington supreme court in Darrin v. Gould , 85 Wn.2d 859, 540 P.2d 882 (1975), whenever within a school district in this state only a single public school athletic team or program exists in a given sport, whether it be interscholastic contact football or some other athletic activity, that single team or program must be equally open to participation by qualified members of both sexes.  (2) In accordance with RCW 28A.85.020, a school district may maintain separate teams for the members of each sex, but only if (a) it can clearly be shown, under all the factual circumstances involved in the particular case, that the maintenance of separate teams for boys and girls truly constitutes the best method of providing both sexes, as a whole, with an equal opportunity to participate in the sports or games of their choice and (b) at the same time, a test of substantial equality between the two programs can be found to have been met.
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