On January 25, 2013, the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) notifying schools that students with disabilities must be afforded equal access to extracurricular athletics. The DCL comes after the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a report noting the positive impact that extracurricular athletics has on students, especially those with disabilities.
The Division of Legal Services is offering the following two upcoming events this month:
Employees and volunteers that direct, supervise, or coach a student activity program that involves athletics, routine or regular physical activity, or activities with health and safety considerations must obtain a pupil activity permit. The Ohio Department of Education issued a recent reminder to begin the process for the application of pupil activity permits for coaches.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits gender discrimination in any education program or activity that is supported by federal monies. On April 24, the US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) reminded schools receiving federal dollars that they must designate at least one employee to coordinate Title IX compliance and released a guidance package relating to Title IX compliance.
As a result of House Bill (HB) 487, community (AKA charter) school and STEM school students may now participate in extracurricular activities in certain school districts under RC 3313.537. The changes became effective on September 17, 2014.
What are the changes?
Earlier this spring, the parents of an elementary school student sued a New York school district after the student broke his nose during a game of dodgeball in gym class. The injured student wasn’t hit by a ball, but by a panicked classmate who ran around the gym aimlessly until his head crashed into the other student’s face. The injured student’s parents filed a lawsuit against the district, claiming that there were “too many people and too many balls” and found fault that there was no “safe zone” or place for students who didn’t want to play.
Effective April 26, 2013, any individual applying for a first-time pupil-activity program permit or permit renewal is required to complete certain training programs related to concussions and head injuries in order to coach interscholastic activities.
Yes. The general rule is that boards must first offer the opportunity to direct, supervise, or coach a pupil activity program to qualified, licensed individuals in the district (RC 3313.53). Boards of education are permitted to employ non-licensed individuals who have pupil activity permits to direct, supervise, or coach a pupil activity program, but only if the board passes a resolution that outlines two things.
In June 2008, the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) Board of Directors approved a recommendation that coaches in Ohio be required to take the National Federation of State High School Associations Fundamentals of Coaching course. All interscholastic coaches in grades 7-12, whether certified to teach or not, paid or volunteer, are required to take the course as a one-time fulfillment. All coaches without a current pupil activity permit are required to complete the course by January 1, 2010.