A group of parents are threatening to file a Title IX complaint against Arlington Public Schools for what they say are inadequate and inequitable facilities for the Washington-Lee High School girl’s softball team.
Parents say the team’s field — located in the public Quincy Park, near Arlington Central Library — is not regulation size, is in poor condition and is frequently befouled by dogs and homeless persons. Parents are demanding better facilities — at least in line with the baseball team’s field, also located in Quincy Park — or else they may file a formal discrimination complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.
While the W-L boys baseball team utilizes a regulation-size field, parents say, the softball team must make use of a field designed for and used by adult men’s slow pitch softball games.
“The dimensions of the skinned slow pitch infield are too large for fast pitch softball,” parents wrote in a letter to school officials. “The outfield fences are about 100 feet too deep.”
Also, parents say, the softball field lacks a press box, a PA system, a pitcher warm-up area, a flag pole (for the Pledge of Allegiance) and adequate bleachers — all of which the baseball field has.
The field itself is rutted and in such poor condition that it “represents a hazard for the girls who must play there,” the letter continued.
“The softball infield, unlike baseball, is rock hard and drains poorly,” parents say.
“Unlike the baseball field, which is covered in the off-season for maintenance and more consistently maintained during the season, the softball field is never covered, the outfield grass is mowed infrequently… and the infield often is improperly lined for high school competition on game days,” the letter said. “Umpires this spring threatened on at least one occasion not to allow games to be played for this reason.”
Additionally, parents cited various security concerns, like the half-mile walk from the high school and the lack of security lighting or an emergency call box.
“On at least one occasion in 2011 when the varsity team returned home after an away game to use the storage facility in a dark area… girls were surprised by a homeless person sleeping near the storage shed,” parents wrote.
Parents say that homeless individuals frequently sleep in the dugouts, which cannot be locked, unlike the boy’s baseball dugouts (pictured, left). “Drug paraphernalia” was found in one of the unlocked batting cages this spring, they added, noting that they’ve been told the cages cannot be locked because Quincy is a public park.
Further, “the unsecured softball field at Quincy is used as a dog park; the presence of animal waste on the field (often tracked into the dugout) represents a public health hazard,” parents wrote.
Yesterday the school system asked the group for another two weeks to respond to their letter, which was sent on Aug. 13, according to parent Christopher Prins. The letter was sent after months of dialogue between parents and school administrators.
“If we don’t hear back by Sept. 9, with something substantive that advances this discussion, then we will move forward,” Prins said. “We don’t like being blown off for essentially five months.”
Assistant Superintendent Meg Tuccillo says the school system has “limited green space” in which to accommodate student sports, but they nonetheless “intend to work with the families.”
“All I can tell you right now is that we are in communication with parents about their concerns,” Tuccillo told ARLnow.com in a brief phone conversation. “We’re actively looking into the matter.”
Prins said the parents have a good relationship with Arlington County, which oversees Quincy Park, but they expect the school system to provide better facilities. Ideally, they say they’d like a practice field on the Washington-Lee grounds to be converted into a new softball field.
If the team has to stay at Quincy Park, Prins cited Greenbrier Park, near Yorktown High School, as an example of a clean, modern baseball and softball facility within a public park. Parents requested that the W-L girls play there temporarily, Prins said, but they were turned down by school officials.
Despite the additional amenities, Prins acknowledged that the baseball field at Quincy Park suffers from its own set of problems.
“I’m certainly not suggesting the boy’s facility at Quincy Park is a model facility either,” he said.
The girl’s softball team plays in the spring. A blog was set up earlier this year to advocate for better softball facilities.
Good Friday evening, Arlington. Today we published articles that were read a total of 8607 times… so far. 📈 Top stories The following are the most-read articles for today —…
New Spring Street home near Westover Village, 2 home offices, screened porch
Have you ever showed up to a date and realized you had been stood up? The Arlington County Board nearly did yesterday (Thursday) during a hearing on the proposed property…
Stop wasting hours of time getting your car maintained, repaired, or detailed. Discover the time-saving joy that is CarCare To Go and see why so many people are leaving reviews…
Arlington and its neighbors have become more segregated in the last 10 years while fair housing legislation at the state level faces significant roadblocks. Arlington’s fair housing enforcement, education, and commitment to equity practices in housing policy and programs are beginning to show signs of improvement but much more needs to be done.
Join the NAACP Arlington Branch, HOME of Virginia, and Equal Rights Center for the 2nd Annual Arlington Fair Housing Conference on April 15th to discuss the threats and opportunities to advancing fair housing policy across the state and within Arlington.
The half-day, in-person event will feature speakers from fair housing advocacy organizations and government agencies including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and focus on fair housing policy trends in Virginia and Arlington County. The conference aims to advance the understanding of issues and policies related to equity and affirmatively further fair housing among local officials, advocates, and members of the public.
2nd Annual Arlington Fair Housing Conference
Is home ownership a goal of yours in 2023? Now is the time to make it happen! Grab a (virtual) drink with the area’s top Real Estate experts, learn all about the home buying process and on how you can get $1,500 towards your closing costs immediately!
Did you know the average Arlington renter will spend $150K in 5 years of renting? Stop paying down someone else’s mortgage! Join us for a Rent vs. Buy Happy Hour on Wednesday, April 5th at 6 p.m. via Zoom. If this time doesn’t work, we also are offering times convenient for your schedule!
A lot has happened in the local market since the beginning of the pandemic. Sip on your drink of choice and learn from Northern Virginia, Arlington and Washingtonian Magazines top producing agents! We will discuss the latest market updates, the home buying process and rent vs. buy cost savings. Please RSVP by clicking here.
Call/text Manavi at 703-869-6698 with any questions!
Private School Fair
Congressional School to Host MONA Private School Fair Thursday, April 27 at 6:30 PM
Congressional School in Falls Church, VA is delighted to host the MONA (Mothers of North Arlington) at an upcoming Private School Fair. Private schools from around
WHS Spring Festival
Join us at the WHS Spring Festival on April 22, 2023, from 10am- 3pm at Wakefield High School(main parking lot). Come out to shop, play, and eat!
Shop local vendors, arts & crafts, new and used items, food vendors/trucks, and