In 1971, Striegel, a high school junior in St. Paul, Minnesota, wanted to swim for her school team, but they did not allow girls. Her Mother, a member of NOW, learned that St. Paul had recently banned gender discrimination in education. She filed a grievance with the city's human rights dept, and officials required the school to allow Kathy to swim. Kathy beat out one of the boys and earned a spot at a meet, however the opposing coach declared that she was ineligible because the meet was outside St. Paul and thus beyond the jurisdiction of its laws.
In response, leaders lobbied to ban gender discrimination in education and in 1972 Congress passed a law collectively known as the Educational Amendments