From Needles And Feces To Security And Equity, Roseburg School District Works To Fix Egregious Title IX Issues For Softball Program

Roseburg — It has been a years-long process to progress being made for the Roseburg softball program, but a greener side to the grass is on the horizon if the Roseburg School District sticks to their goal of addressing a state Title IX complaint regarding the quality of softball to baseball facilities. Baseball is housed at One Champion Carwash Field, a gorgeous facility that features plenty of seating, turf field, and professional stadium lighting. It is maintained and ran by the City of Roseburg, and the District works with the city to allow their baseball program to use it as their home field. It also hosts Umpqua Community College and Umpqua Valley Christian’s baseball teams.

In a different part of Roseburg, the softball team has only dreamed of having such a privileged, well-maintained facility to play in. They play at a local park that can find itself overran by homeless that turned their field into a bed and breakfast. Before changes were made recently to address the problems, the team had to do upkeep on the field and dugouts, a task that was at times hazardous. Players would find bodily fluids, needles, and other items left behind from their unwelcome visitors, something that certainly would never happen at the baseball facility.

In 2019, the Roseburg School District was hit with a Title IX complaint filed through the Oregon Department of Education, alleging sex discrimination and that the facilities weren’t equal for both teams. After Title IX audits, mediation, and action within the District, the Roseburg School District has placed a proposed new, turf softball field to be built with funds from a proposed 2022 school bond measure. In the meantime, the District has been helping with securing the current field and addressing other concerns from the complaint, a major change of pace over the inaction from previous years.

In the event that the bond fails to pass in May, the District says that two backup plans are in place to complete the construction of a new softball facility. Either way, the construction will happen with or without a bond passage, so as long as the District abides by its mediated agreement with the Title IX complainant. The District also says that satisfaction from the current help provided to the team has been high, a sign of changing times and a brighter future for Roseburg softball. As long as the District follows through, the future truly is brighter for the young women of the future.

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