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Batavia schools settle lawsuit

Batavia, N.Y. -- It was a goal met with a monumental challenge.

Three softball players at Batavia High School have won a lawsuit to make improvements to their playing fields.

"It was definitely very difficult at first. I spent my study hall in my coach's room," plaintiff Elizabeth Myers said. "I feel like people didn't really understand and just thought it was two girls asking for more."

"It was a little rough at first because you had people retaliating thinking it was just another thing that we wanted," Elizabeth's sister Rebecca said.

But the girls did want something; they wanted change.

While the baseball team plays at Dwyer Stadium, a professional field used by the Batavia Muckdogs of the New York-Penn League, the Myers sisters and another softball player just wanted improvements made to their softball fields and equal treatment to their male peers. They filed a lawsuit against the Batavia City School District, citing a violation of Title IX.

"If they had come and talked to the Title IX compliance officer prior to suing, they would have found out that the district was going to do everything tha tthey were going to ask," Batavia Superintendent Christopher Daliey said.

Dailey said the district was working to make improvements as part of its 2013 capital project, and it just needed voter approval.

"We really wanted security to make sure it was going to happen," Elizabeth Myers said. "We didn't want it to be contingent on the community and their vote. We had seen that fail in the past."

That project passed in May, and the girls continued on with their suit and never gave up.

"That takes the kind of pride you hope to see in your kids," said James Myers, Elizabeth and Rebecca's father. "All of the hard work and training you give them and see that they get, it was really, really awesome, and I think they are great examples for the young generation that's coming up."

"Even if I wasn't personally going to see the effects, it would really create a better environment for those who came after me and give them something to be proud of," said Elizabeth.

"Don't give up on the things you want," Rebecca said. "If there's something you really want to work for and to, go and get it."

It's lesson that's often times learned on and off the field.

Dailey told 13WHAM those improvements to the field have started and are expected to be finished by the time school starts next fall.

 
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