For Immediate Release
September 13, 2016
It Is about More Than a Softball Field
Team members asked Empire Justice Center to take case after inadequate response from school district
When District Court Judge William Skretny awarded Empire Justice Center attorneys’ fees for the time and resources spent working with families of the Batavia High School Varsity Softball Team, the attorneys working on this case, Myers v. Batavia City Board of Education, 13-CV-342S, and the families represented, were again reminded of the importance of working for equity in school athletics. Empire Justice Center attorneys representing members of the softball team, Kristin Small and Jonathan Feldman, spoke about the importance of the case.
The Batavia varsity softball team now has a beautiful softball field. “But this case was about more than that,” noted staff attorney Kristin Small. “This case was also about reminding all parties that all athletics at Batavia Central Schools should be treated with respect and provided comparable resources, as required by law. And we hope it serves as a reminder to all schools that they need to be conscious and proactive about providing equitable resources to boys and girls athletics.”
“We are proud of the outcome of this case. The families tried to work with the school district to address the imbalance between the facilities of the boys and girls teams, but became frustrated in those attempts. So they came to us to help make sure the necessary changes were made,” said Jonathan Feldman, a senior attorney.
As noted in Judge Skretny’s opinion, the district had the opportunity to settle earlier, “If Plaintiffs’ suit was not the reason for the changes, and such changes had long been underway, Defendant should have settled the suit earlier, thereby avoiding costs for both sides.”