Connecticut high school scrutinized after male-focused sports tweets

FAIRFIELD, Connecticut (WABC) -- A high school in Connecticut was scrutinized after a student's mother noticed the school tweeting about boys' sports, but not girls' sports.

Colleen Phelan's daughter and teammates on the Fairfield Ludlowe Girls Swim and Dive team last year would regularly look at the athletic department's Twitter feed.

"If you don't acknowledge kids' hard work, it's very disempowering, especially for a girl," Phelan said. "They really don't get the attention, and that doesn't make girls want to be in sports."

Last year, she took her concerns to school officials with graphs in hand showing the disparity.

"I really was surprised that this wasn't fixed in one moment," Phelan said.

Although her daughter had graduated, she still kept tabs and saw the same issue the following swimming season.

"I took a look at the Twitter feed and the Instagram feed again, and nothing had changed," Phelan said. "And that was the straw that broke the camel's back."

She then decided to write an article in the local paper, which caused the district to launch a Title 9 investigation.

"We take this concern very seriously and will conduct a full investigation," Superintendent Michael Cummings wrote in a statement. "We value the contributions of all of our students equally. If there are lessons to be learned from the past we will identify those and make sure that all of our staff has the necessary information and training to ensure equity for all students."

"I think they're going to make the right decisions now," Phelan said.

She said the feed seems more balanced these days, but would like to see policies in place.

"It's really simple," Phelan said. "Policies and procedures can fix this. Just having a format to report success of all of our athletes will make the biggest difference of all."
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