Dance team….football team…not such a good comparison.

Destiny Cano alleged in her lawsuit that she was injured when she was ordered to attempt a particularly difficult stunt during dance team practice.  Among other legal theories, her suit alleged that the district violated Title IX. The court did not see it that way.

As all of you Daily Dawg readers know, Title IX is about sex discrimination.  The plaintiff struggled to explain how her unfortunate injury was the result of intentional discrimination against girls.  The plaintiff repeatedly pointed to the football team, alleging that the boys on the team had better equipment and better coaches than the girls on the dance team. However, the court did not find this to be the proper comparison.  The court noted that “there are myriad differences between football and the dance team besides the gender of the majority of each activity’s participants.”  Key Quote:

Title IX liability does not arise based solely on the fact that different sports teams might require different treatment based on the unique training, safety, performance, and other specific factors related to each.

It’s conventional wisdom that Texans care more about high school football than any other extracurricular activity.  We love the band, the cheer squad and the dance team.  We love our basketball teams—both of them.  But football still holds a special place.  However, none of that conventional wisdom shows that the school cares more about injuries to the boys than the girls. The court noted that the plaintiffs conclusory statements failed to allege genuine facts showing any sort of discrimination.

The case is Cano v. Harlandale ISD, decided by the federal court for the Western District of Texas on December 16, 2020.  It’s published at 2020 WL 7385843.  I’m pleased to let you know that Harlandale was well represented in this one by Craig Wood and Katie Payne in our firm’s San Antonio office. 


Tomorrow: the denouement of the nude selfie case.