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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Fair to meddling

The search for perfect fairness marches on. French President Francois Hollande has proposed banning homework as part of a school reform package:

French schoolkids already put in long school days: 8:30 to 4:30 or longer. But that's not Hollande's concern. In fact, he wants to extend the school week from 4 days to 4.5.

Instead, he is worried about the inequality factor—kids who get extra help at home have an unfair edge, he frets. “An education program is, by definition, a societal program. Work should be done at school, rather than at home."

Heaven forbid someone who puts in extra effort should get a higher reward. What the hell kind of message does that send? Instead of trying to give the low achievers help, let's take away the high achievers' advantage. We'll all be worse off, but we'll be equal, and that will make us so happy!

Not to be outdone in the trivial pursuit of equality, 10 southeastern Indiana high schools have joined in a federal consent degree to schedule boys and girls basketball games equally on Friday and Saturday nights:

 The decree approved Monday in federal court in Indianapolis applies directly only to the 10 schools but sets a solid legal precedent across the entire 7th U.S. Circuit because the federal appeals court ruled earlier this year that equal scheduling for both genders is required under Title IX of the Higher Education Act, Groth said.

“The 7th Circuit’s decision earlier this year sent a clear message not only to the lower federal courts but to all high school athletic directors that Title IX requires equality in all phases of high school athletics, including the scheduling of athletic contests,” Groth said.

In case you're wondering what all the fuss is about, Friday and Saturday nights are considered "prime time," and basketball games scheduled then can draw bigger crowds. Consider this reaction after the 7th Circuit's decision:

The court started its decision with the image of a typical Indiana Friday-night game: “A packed gymnasium, cheer-leaders rallying the fans, the crowd on their feet supporting their team, and the pep band playing the school song.” Without similar support from the community, the court speculated that “girls might be less interested in joining the basketball team because of a lack of school and community support, which results in the perception that the girls’ team is inferior and less deserving than the boys’.” As a result, girls might feel like they are “second-class.”

Think about that. The girls have a "right" to play in front of cheering crowds so they don't feel "second-class." That's what we've come to.