IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF SOUTH DAKOTA
STEVEN PEDERSEN and CHERYL
PEDERSEN, as Guardians Ad Litem for
MARA PEDERSEN, a minor, and SUZIE
TOLZIN, as Guardian Ad Litem for MICAH
TOLZIN and ELIZABETH TOLZIN, minors,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
SOUTH DAKOTA HIGH SCHOOL
CIVIL ACTION : 00-4113
The United States of America ("United States"), Plaintiff-Intervenor, alleges as follows:
1. This action is brought on behalf of the United States to enforce the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United
States and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq., which prohibits recipients of federal financial
assistance from discriminating on the basis of sex in education programs and activities.
2. This court has jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1345 and 42 U.S.C. § 2000h-2.
3. Defendant South Dakota High School Activities Association (hereinafter "SDHSAA" or "the Association") is a voluntary,
non-profit association whose membership is composed of approximately 194 South Dakota public and private secondary schools
and whose headquarters is located in Pierre, South Dakota. The Association governs interscholastic athletics and activities in and
among member schools, and has controlling authority over sanctioning, operating, providing, and regulating interscholastic athletics
and activities in and among its member schools. The Association has approximately 169 members who are public schools that
receive federal financial assistance.
4. Pedersen et al. v. South Dakota High Sch. Activities Ass'n, CIV 00-4113, was filed on June 9, 2000. The plaintiffs allege that
the defendant SDHSAA violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and Title IX of the Education
Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. § 1681, etseq., by discriminating on the basis of sex.
5. The minor plaintiffs and their guardians ad litem are all citizens of South Dakota. The minor plaintiffs all participate or aspire to
participate in high school volleyball in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The plaintiffs seek a permanent injunction requiring defendant
SDHSAA to immediately schedule girls' high school volleyball during the traditional fall season in order to comply with the
Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
6. Defendant SDHSAA is subject to the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United
States, and to Title IX, including the Title IX Implementing Regulations and Policy Interpretation.
7. Defendant has, continues to, and will continue to discriminate against female students on the basis of gender by failing to provide
equal opportunity in the area of interscholastic athletics in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United
States, and Title IX and the Title IX Implementing Regulations and Policy Interpretation.
8. The unlawful discrimination engaged in by defendant includes, but is not limited to, requiring several sports played by female
students to be played in non-traditional seasons which has limited the opportunities and benefits received by female athletes.
9. On or about June 6, 2000, defendant SDHSAA considered switching South Dakota's girls' high school volleyball season to the
fall and the girls' high school basketball to the winter, but subsequently decided against allowing the girls to play in the traditional
10. Unless enjoined by this court, defendant SDHSAA will continue to violate the Fourteenth Amendment and Title IX and its
Implementing Regulations and Policy Interpretation.
11. The Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice, by delegation from the
Attorney General of the United States, has certified that the above-captioned case is of general public importance. See attachment
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff-Intervenor United States prays that this Court grant the following relief:
1. Declare that defendant has denied plaintiffs the equal protection of the laws in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment;
2. Declare that defendant has unlawfully discriminated on the basis of gender by failing to provide equal opportunities to female
students in interscholastic athletics, and in doing so failed to provide plaintiffs equal athletic opportunity in violation of Title IX of the
Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. § 1681, et seq.;
3. Issue a permanent injunction requiring defendant, its officers, agents, employees, successors, assigns, and all persons in active
concert or participation with the Association to immediately schedule girls' high school volleyball during the traditional fall season
and girls' basketball during the traditional winter season;
4. Order defendant to formulate, adopt, and fully and timely implement an effective plan to remedy fully its discriminatory policies
and practices, and to comply fully with the requirements of federal law, including the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth
Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, Title IX, and the Title IX Implementing Regulations and Policy Interpretation;
5. Grant such other additional relief as the Court deems just and proper, including the costs and disbursements of this action.
TED L. McBRIDE
United States Attorney
Chief - Civil Division
United States Attorney's Office
230 Phillips Ave., Suite 600
Sioux Falls, SD 57104
BILL LANN LEE
Assistant Attorney General
HELEN L. NORTON
Deputy Assistant Attorney General
FRANZ R. MARSHALL
SARAH A. DUNNE
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Educational Opportunities Section
601 D Street, N.W., Suite 4300
Washington, D.C. 20530