Kalani High School unveiled its first girls’ locker room today as a way to address Title IX gender equity requirements.
The 19,300 sq. ft. locker room is also a training facility, a Judo and Wrestling room, and a storage space. Female athletes will be able to have personal lockers, hot showers, a strategy planning area, and more.
“The new Girls’ Locker Room is a great step forward towards our goal of ensuring equity for all of our female student athletes,” said Phyllis Unebasami, the state Department of Education deputy superintendent, in a press release. “We are committed to providing equal opportunities in all aspects of education and this new facility gives the Lady Falcons a solid foundation of support in all sports.”
The school has a total of 71 sports teams with 37 of those being girls’ teams. Students and parents attended the dedication today to celebrate the change.
“This new building not only impacts us, but also future generations of Lady Falcons as they are now given the resources to follow their dreams,” said Lauren Horita, student body president of Kalani High School and varsity soccer player, in a press release.
However, the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii says that one new locker room is not enough to comply with Title IX requirements.
ACLU Hawaii Executive Director Joshua Wisch says the DOE should have taken action years ago.
“What is troubling is the implication that this somehow fixes the problem,” Wisch said, in a press release. “It doesn’t. Title IX is about more than just lockers.”
Wisch added that the union has tried to work with the DOE for almost a year to get it to comply with Title IX, but after it didn’t work out, the union filed a lawsuit in December.
“Even now that we’re in court, DOE’s response has been underwhelming,” Wisch said.
Although Wisch said he’s glad about the new locker rooms, he’s hoping the department addresses other ongoing issues including equal practice times, coaching time, and advertising for sports.
Construction for the locker room began in 2017, and cost around $7.6 million.