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Campbell Ewa Beach

Hawaii settles suit over gender inequities in a high school's locker rooms

Nov. 2, 2023
Female athletes at Campbell High School contended that their locker rooms were inadequate compared with facilities for male athletes.

The state of Hawaii has reached a settlement in a lawsuit over the lack of locker rooms for female athletes at the state's largest public school.

The Associated Press reports that the lawsuit argued that Campbell High School in Ewa Beach near Honolulu provided stand-alone locker rooms only for boys. the plaintiffs also contended that the school failed to provide coaches for certain girls' teams.

The settlement calls for the Hawaii Department of Education and the Oahu Interscholastic Association to hire an independent evaluator to make sure girls at the school receive equivalent sports offerings and athletic benefits such as facilities and transportation.

“In a state with a high proportion of students of color and an extremely high cost of living, the opportunities afforded to female athletes are all the more important and impactful,” said Wookie Kim, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii, which helped represent the girls.

The girls who brought the suit said they had to resort to changing in teachers’ closets, in the bathroom of a nearby fast-food restaurant or even on the practice field.

The lawsuit also argued that boys’ sports programs were well-equipped at Campbell, but the girls’ water polo and soccer programs did not have adequate gear and facilities, and that coaches for girls’ teams are generally paid less than boys’ team coaches.

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The lawsuit also said boys’ sports programs were well-equipped at Campbell, but the girls’ water polo and soccer programs doesn’t have adequate gear and facilities, and that coaches for girls’ teams are generally paid less than boys’ team coaches.

The lead plaintiff, Ashley Badis, won a Billie Jean King Youth Leadership Award for her role in the case. “I’m happy that future students won’t have to go through what my teammates and I did,” she said in a statement.

The state Department of the Attorney General said it could not comment due to “further procedural issues that have to be addressed with the court.”

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