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Civil Rights Complaint: NYC Schools Not Offering Level Playing Field For Girls Sports Teams

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- According to a new civil rights investigation, thousands of girls are missing out on the chance to play sports in New York City high schools.

"For boys, they have varsity and junior varsity. But for girls, they only have varsity," ninth-grader Kayla Roache, of Business of Sports School, told CBS2's Alice Gainer.

"It's very popular with the guys, but the females have a different point of view," said 11th-grader Jacen Hayes, of Manhattan High School.

"(Do you think there are plenty of opportunities for females to play sports in school?) Yeah, there is. We have softball, flag football," said 11th-grader Denise Cabrere, of Business School of Sports.

"They have women's basketball teams in this school, and volleyball teams and all that other stuff," said Tiana Florival, 10-grader at Business of Sports School.

"They finally made a girls basketball team in this school," said Aaron Vega, a Manhattan High School 10th grader.

According to civil rights officials, New York City public schools are in violation of title IX by failing to provide high school girls with the same opportunities to play sports as boys.

Civil Rights Complaint: NYC Schools Not Offering Level Playing Field For Girls Sports Teams

"A number of requests by girls to add teams were rejected over the years," said Neena Chaudhry, with the National Women's Law Center.

Chaudhry filed a complaint back in 2010.

"We filed because the school's own data showed they were not providing equal opportunities for girls to play sports," she said.

In order to level the playing field, so to speak, the U.S. Department of Education's office of civil rights said the city would have to add 3,862 more opportunities for female students, Gainer reported.

The New York City Department of Education denies violating Title IX, but they have entered into an agreement to resolve the complaint.

They'll begin by surveying girls beginning in eighth grade to see if there is unmet interest and ability, and then add teams accordingly, Gainer reported.

As for the National Woman's Law Center, they say this isn't just a New York City problem. They also filed a complain against 11 other school districts across the country, hoping to give young women a fair and equal shot.

The Department of Education said they have budgeted an additional $1 million for sports, which is enough to add 24 girls teams a year, for a total of 96 new girls teams by the year 2019.

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