Department of Education

Brickbat: This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things


Officials at Salem High School in Plymouth, Michigan, have agreed to take down bleachers and a score board paid for and built by parents for the school's baseball team. After an anonymous complaint, the U.S. Education Department's Office for Civil Rights found the school was in violation of federal law because the baseball facilities are now superior to the girl's softball field. The school can't afford to upgrade the softball field, so it had to take down the amenities at the baseball field.

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  1. Jeez, get it right Charlie:

    The boys’ seating is also not handicap accessible, which is a separate violation of government regulations.

    See, it was ableist too

    1. Uh… How do you make bleachers handicap accessible?

      1. Isn’t that what the front row is for?

        1. But, you don’t understand. People should be able to sit wherever they want, regardless of their condition. Why do you hate handcapped people, UCS? Heartless bastard!

          But in all seriousness, I was at my cousins’ softball games, and several people brought their own folding chairs and sat in them.

          1. yes, the folding chairs. They have been a tradition at baseball games from Little League up through high school for as long as either level of ball has been played.

      2. Duh – you tear them down!

        1. It shows the real vindictiveness of so many activists.

          Before the state intervened:

          No officially “accessible” seats. One row of actually “accessible” seats in front.

          After the state intervened:

          No accessible seats at all. No seats for anyone.

          How this makes the handicapped better off is not immediately apparent to me. Apparently, thought, the goal is not to help the handicapped, its to hurt everyone else.

  2. I liked this story better the first time I saw it, when it was A League of Their Own.

    1. Are you implying that Tom Hanks is a wheelchair?

    2. “You can’t cry in Title IX!”

      1. Actually, that’s all you do in Title IX

  3. Meissen told WJBK-TV that the school wants to follow the government’s regulations and be “fair to everyone,”

    The Handicapper General must intervene for the good of all.

    1. Why do.all these stories.end with the treehouse-building dad or the lemonade-selling girl contritely saying all they want the.rules, and they’ll be a good little serf It’s like every one of them is scripted by the Office of State Parables.

      1. I doubt that guy became a Public School admin because he hated mindless bureaucracy and regulations.

        1. Sure, but I.was speaking more.broadly. once, I’d like to.see someone respond with “This rule an arbitrary piece of bureaucratic bullshit. It needlessly limits the freedom of everyone in, and I.will as far as I can. If I win, I.will have achieved victory.for.everyone. if I lose, I.will shake the.dust.of this from my feet and leave you all to your.doom.”

          1. Yeah I hear you. The constant Stockholm Syndrome stuff is annoying.

            “We understand that the cops were just doing their jobs when they charged into our house and pointed guns at our children, but they should get the address right next time.”

            1. Somehow the gun controllers don’t mind the idea of weapons in the hands of people who can’t find the right address.

          2. Shake the dust from your feet! Christian propaganda! Burn him! Use these dried out pine trees we made the community take down last December.

          3. It is human nature to give in to authority.

          4. What’s with all the periods?

            I’m pretty sure that’s not going to stop the NSA’s computers. 😉

            1. Fat fingers + android phone + period next to space = lots of periods

      2. Does Meissen work for the school district? As far as I can tell, it’s a government school, which makes it an agent of the state.

      3. See 1984 and the “cornfield” Twilight Zone episode.

      4. The other stories don’t end well. See Nevada, Rancher, Cliven Bundy.

    2. “The Handicapper General must intervene for the good of all.”

      +1 Harrison Bergeron reference.

      Oddly enough the wiki entry lists it as fictional.

      1. When it was written, it was.

    3. Harrison Bergeron was the first thing to come to mind, while I was reading the news flash from Bizarro World. Reading this comment thread, it is nice to know that I am not alone in that reaction.

  4. Goes along nicely with the theme that we all need to be equal even if it means equally poorer.

  5. Happy Equal Pay Day everyone!

    1. I don’t see the governer being brought down to my rate, I don’t believe it.

  6. I don’t think that this is even a fair reading of the Title IX requirements. I don’t recall anything about seating capacity for spectators, merely opportunity for athletes to compete.

    I know North Carolina has a 20k seat arena for men’s basketball and a separate 10k seat arena for women’s basketball. Both separate and unequal. But I don’t think anyone has suggested a title IX violation.

    Are they suggesting that you not only have to add up all opportunities for participation – thereby requiring more total female sports since football requires more players than any other sport and is male only – but you also have to add up scoreboards and seats and square feet of locker room space and total area of playing field and dollars spent on grooming the field and….. wait, what was the point of all of this again?

    1. North Carolina has a 20k seat arena for men’s basketball and a separate 10k seat arena for women’s basketball

      Why? Do they schedule that many games at the same time? Wouldn’t it have been cheaper to retrofit another set of locker rooms into the 20K arena instead of building a whole new structure? Or did they start with a 10K arena and decide they needed more room for the spectator draw at the men’s games?

      1. UNC built the new arena to accommodate ticket demand for men’s games. The Dean Dome, as it’s known, routinely sells out. Carmichael Auditorium, where the likes of Jordan played and the women hold court, is almost never full. I think the real upside is not having torn down the older arena as it is in good shape, just not big enough for men’s hoops.

    2. Reading a few of the comments on the article, this may be a case of stupid bureaucrats interacting with other stupid bureaucrats. Someone in the comments claimed that the parents were trying to raise money for the softball field in response to this issue and the seating was torn down without notification.

      It kinda sounds like the school administration just took some Federal bureaucrat’s word for it that they were in violation and agreed that they would tear it down. Perhaps they didn’t want to spend the money on consulting a lawyer who would push back for them? Or perhaps the central administration didn’t much care for this school or it’s baseball team and didn’t mind poking a finger in their eye?

  7. Is there a better example that government-mandated equality means taken from those that “have” so they’re equal to those who “have less”. SLD, but could not the school districte:

    1) have solicited to get nicer stands and a scoreboard for teh poor, underserved girls?

    2) WHY THE FUCK DOD THEY HAVE SEPARATE BALL DIAMONDS?? We had one nice field at my HS – everyone played there.

    Fuck everyone involved in this, except the parents who donated the money to make the stands and scoreboard. And the kids.

    1. “taken” = “taking” for today. But you knew that.

      Moar Mountain Dew….

    2. 2) WHY THE FUCK DOD THEY HAVE SEPARATE BALL DIAMONDS?? We had one nice field at my HS – everyone played there.


      Every school I’ve been near with sports facilities used the same fields for any teams using that layout and simply had more locker rooms.

        1. You can fit both on the same field. The baseball players just run further along the line to get to 1st, etc…

          1. The pitcher’s mound is probably the biggest obstacle.

            1. They got around this by not having a raised platform, I think. I’d have to go back and check, but unless there’s a game on, an adult man wandering onto school grounds gets suspicion from the locals.

              1. Um, what?

                It is a high school, I doubt they have the groundskeeper staff to deconstruct and rebuild the pitcher’s mound in order to change over from baseball to softball and back again multiple times a year.

              2. Um, what?

                It is a high school, I doubt they have the groundskeeper staff to deconstruct and rebuild the pitcher’s mound in order to change over from baseball to softball and back again multiple times a year.

                1. Oh, no, they just force the baseball team to play without.

        2. Aha! It’s Title IX violations all the way down.

      1. I have never seen a baseball field that was convertible to a softball field. And I doubt that you have, either.

        1. You haven’t? What sort of non-penny pinching school admins did you deal with? How can they hope to pad their own salaries when bound to the vanishing tax base of an inner city if they don’t make savings elsewhere?

    3. I was at my cousin’s games a last week and the week before. The softball field is considerably smaller. The infield is also much smaller. Plus, the baseball and softball teams often played at the same time.

      1. I hope you are joking. Yes – Women’s softball is played on a smaller diamond than High School baseball.

        1. joking about what?

          1. That the girls have a smaller field due to less funding.

            1. I don’t think he said anything about funding.

            2. the girls’ field is smaller because softball is not baseball. And for various reasons, baseball and softball teams often play simultaneously.

            3. No, I wasn’t saying they were smaller than that. Wareagle explains it.

    4. “And the Trees are all kept equal
      By Hatchet, Axe, and Saw.”

      1. “Here is the instrument of cleansing, my brethren. And nothing quite cleanses like fire.”

    5. Fuck everyone involved in this….and the kids

      Heartless bastard!!

    6. They have separate fields because baseball has a larger diamond and outfield and softball has no pitcher’s mound.

  8. The photo clearly indicates that the girls’ bleachers are not handicap accessible, either.

    I demand they be torn down as well.

  9. Whenever I go to any of my kids’ games I throw folding seats in the trunk because I never know if there will be bleachers. I hope all the parents who raised the money for the facilities see how the federal government wiped their asses with their money and effort.

  10. What is the matter Charles? Is it too much trouble to find actual stories anymore and now you have to make them up?

    This can’t be real.

  11. I wonder how much of this has to do with the parents going around the busybodies and having the bleachers built themselves?

    That all by itself must have pissed off the school administration who would have immediately started looking for an excuse to tear it down.

    And of course they found one.

    1. ^This

      Back around the mid-seventies my step sister was on the dance line in HS. They put on a bikini car wash and raised a shitload of money. They were going to use it to go on a trip. The principal took their money and gave it to the football team.

      This is about people taking the initiative to do things without the guidance of TOP MEN. It is about control.

      1. Yep. If they wanted to upgrade the softball facilities, they only needed to ask the team and parents to help.

  12. “This is ridiculous. The baseball team and parents worked hard to get the money to make their field better. If the girls want their field to be nicer, they can work with parents to make it nicer. This is ridiculous.” — my 12 year old daughter

    1. Why does your daughter hate girls so much?

      1. Her father is a libertarian. Duh.

      2. Doesn’t everybody hate Lena Dunham?

        1. Yes

      3. False consciousness imposed by patriarchal hegemony?

        1. You joke but the scary thing is this would be taken totally seriously on, say Jezebel.

  13. Did they tear down the alt-text as well?

  14. How does this type of thing interact with the demands to pay college football and basketball players? If the feds are going to be this nitpicky, I cannot imagine what they are going to do if the Northwestern player union is successful.

    1. Nothing would be.funnier.than college sports union doing to universities what the.United Steel Workers accomplished in the.1970s.and ’80s.with the steel.companies.

    2. I’m looking forward to the reaction when the players are told that their scholarships are now treated as taxable income.

      1. So am I.

      2. But then their education expenses are deductible, so no effect.

  15. Word to the wise: Do not donate to government-controlled schools.

  16. The solution is simple; RENAME the field :Girls’ softball field” and leave it alone.

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