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On Tuesday, the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) announced that its member schools will have the opportunity to vote on a number of amendments to OHSAA’s constitution and bylaws that govern the organization and high school athletics. Included among the changes is a name, image and likeness (NIL) measure similar to those that affect Ohio’s college athletes.
Last week, the Governor announced that the Interim Director of the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) would be issuing an order permitting all sports practices and competitions.
Last Friday, OSBA hosted its annual Sports Law Workshop in a virtual format. Thanks to all of the school staff who attended the workshop and to all of the experts who shared their time and excellent information.
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.
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.