College Park High School Students File Title IX Lawsuit Against School District

Tuesday, February 20, 2024 


Julianna Gesiotto, California Women’s Law Center,, 323-951-9847

Elizabeth Kristen, Legal Aid at Work, 510-501-4692

Marcella Tortorici, Winston & Strawn, LLP,, 305-910-0583

Elizabeth Gropman, Kaufmann & Gropman LLP,, 510-817-4380

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Last week, three students at College Park High School filed a lawsuit against Mt. Diablo Unified School District, alleging gender discrimination against female athletes under Title IX. 

Title IX requires gender equity in education, including in athletics. Although Title IX has been the law for over 50 years, girls in high schools across the country are still regularly subjected to fewer opportunities to play sports. When they do play, girls receive inferior athletic equipment and facilities as compared to their male counterparts.

The plaintiffs in this action seek to represent a class of female athletes at College Park High School who have experienced discrimination based on their sex in school athletics. The girls allege widespread disparities in athletic equipment and facilities, as well as access to equal opportunities in high school sports. The stark contrast between the boys’ state-of-the-art baseball facilities and the girls’ inferior softball field is one example of these disparities.

Other allegations include inferior opportunities for girls to participate in school sports as compared to boys, inequities between the boys’ tackle football team and girls’ flag football teams, and field schedules that favor boys’ teams. 

Collectively, the California Women’s Law Center, Legal Aid at Work, Winston & Strawn LLP, and Kaufmann & Gropman LLP are representing the plaintiffs in this action. 

“With this lawsuit we hope to represent all female athletes at College Park to ‘defend the nest.’ Our female athletes have waited far too long to be treated fairly. My daughter and other plaintiffs should have equal opportunities and facilities to play sports as the boys,” said Tiffiny Barraco, parent of one of the three female athletes representing the hundreds of girls at College Park High School.

“Year after year, Mt. Diablo Unified School District has attempted to place Band-Aids on continued problems related to our College Park female athletes’ field conditions, locker rooms and bathrooms. There are obvious inconsistencies throughout the school, and the District has been silent on this issue for far too long,” said Daniel Rodriguez, parent of one of the three female athletes representing the hundreds of girls at College Park High School.

“While the district’s repeated failure to provide equitable sports opportunities is disappointing, the girls’ courageous decision to file this lawsuit will hopefully operate to enforce Title IX’s clear mandate and open up doors for female athletes in the district,” said Julianna Gesiotto, of the California Women’s Law Center. 

“Winston & Strawn is proud to partner with the California Women’s Law Center, Legal Aid at Work, and KG on the important work of fighting for gender equality at the high school level,” said Winston & Strawn Partner Diana Leiden. 

Elizabeth Kristen Director of Legal Aid at Work’s Fair Play for Girls in Sports project notes that “Girls who participate in high school sports earn higher wages later in life and experience a host of health and educational benefits. On the heels of this year’s National Girls and Women in Sports Day (February 7, 2024), it is especially important to fight for girls to have a level playing field in high school sports.”  

CLWC, LAAW, Winston & Strawn, and KG are proud to advocate for gender equality and for girls’ participation in sports.


California Women’s Law Center

The California Women’s Law Center (CWLC) breaks down barriers and advances the potential of women and girls through transformative litigation, policy advocacy and education. Founded in 1989, CWLC focuses on the following issue areas: gender discrimination, economic justice, violence against women, and women’s health. CWLC continues to be a leader in Title IX enforcement in California schools. For more information, visit

Legal Aid at Work

Legal Aid at Work partners with people to help them understand and assert their workplace rights. We advocate for employment laws and systems that empower low-paid workers and marginalized communities. Legal Aid at Work’s Fair Play for Girls in Sports project spurs schools and parks and recreation departments to treat girls equally on and off the field. Focusing particularly on girls of color and girls who live in low-income communities, this work promotes the health, educational achievement, and future employment opportunities of girls in grades K-12.

Winston & Strawn LLP

Winston & Strawn LLP is an international law firm with 15 offices in North America, South America, Asia, and Europe. More information about the firm is available at

Kaufmann & Gropman LLP

Kaufmann & Gropman LLP is law firm located in Oakland, California. More information about the firm is available at

Quick Escape