MCHS celebrates 50 years of Title IX

Activism Club hosted a presentation and panel discussion featuring women who championed equality at MCHS

Speakers tell stories about their own experiences during a Title IX presentation during held on May 3 in the Upper Campus Auditorium.

Freedom Tomasello, Staff Writer

On March 2, McHenry’s Activism Club held a Title IX presentation to honor 50 years of the law in the auditorium. The presentation highlighted MCHS alumni Rose Adams, Veronica Bierman Rogers, Judy Walsh Smith, Mary Winkel and Dorothy Drakeford Vick.

Title IX the Education Amendments of 1972 states, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from the participation, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

These 5 women spoke about life before Title IX and how it changed the lives of many schoolgirls. Before this change girls were not allowed to participate in interscholastic sports, and were highly discriminated against within athletics. Along with this, many classes were off limits for females, such as Woodworking or Mechanics.

The speakers told stories of their time in school, where women weren’t allowed to use athletic fields, or were kicked out of their own locker rooms. The girls in this period of time were given no chances to play against other schools, or have any form of competition.

They spoke of their experiences with the Girls Athletic Association. Drakeford Vick, a former teacher at MCHS, had been the advisor for this association from 1955-1958.  During her time as advisor, she oversaw field hockey, basketball, volleyball and more. GAA was a women-led association that allowed for school girls to play in intramural style sports. 

Towards the end of the presentation Rose pushed the importance of paying attention. She highlighted the fact that although these rights have been gained, there’s always that chance of them being stripped away from us in an instance.