Lights Out


When the sun goes down, baseball games at Rochester, Minnesota's Century, John Marshall, and Mayo high schools come to a halt. All the fields have lights, and the school district has paid its electricity bills. But it decided it can't turn the lights on because of Title IX, the federal law that requires equal treatment for male and female students in athletics. Following a complaint from a parent, the school asked the federal Office of Civil Rights to look at its athletic programs. The feds said girls' softball fields didn't measure up to the boys' baseball fields. The school system put in new press boxes, bleachers, batting cages and sound systems, but it didn't have to money for lights, too. So, to even things up, it said the baseball teams couldn't use their lights. School officials say they never had any complaints from softball players or coaches about the quality of their facilities.