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Claims made against 5 Waukesha County schools over athletic discrimination

Claims made against 5 Waukesha County schools over athletic discrimination

By Annie Scholz. CREATED Feb 27, 2012

WAUKESHA- The Department of Education is investigating five Waukesha County school districts.  That after complaints some students aren't being treated fairly.

TODAY'S TMJ4 has 57 pages from the Department of Education Monday; in them, claims that 5 school districts, including Mukwonago are not offering enough athletic opportunities for female students based on enrollment numbers.  The districts don't agree.

Ashley Surprise graduated from Mukwonago High School as a student athlete in 2008.  That year is highlighted in an investigation into possible gender discrimination in the athletics department.  It shocks her.  "I felt like there were plenty in every sport."

Also being investigated: Waukesha, Oconomowoc, Kettle Moraine, and Elmbrook Districts.  In each district, girls make up nearly half of the student body, but only make up a little more than a third of athletes.  Some students say there may be more to it than meets the eye.

"I know a lot of girls who would love to play football, but there are so many guys they're intimidated to actually try out," said Mukwonago 10th grader Emily Gleesing.

Andy Trudell is the athletic director at Mukwonago High School and he told TODAY'S TMJ4, "We take this very seriously."

He says in his three years there, they've added programs like girls hockey, and these claims don't reflect that.  They also don't reflect who's making them as their identity has been protected.

"We're going to cooperate with the investigation fully and we'll see where we go from there," said Trudell.

The districts are now crunching their numbers to resubmit their information to the Department of Education.