Does the school have the right to deny my daughter the ability to play on the school baseball team?
My daughter, who is twelve, wants to play baseball for her middle school team. However, the school won't allow her to play the sport, due to the fact that it is a team only for boys. However, there are no sports teams for only girls that my daughter likes. There is only volleyball and basketball, but my daughter HATES those sports, and wants to play baseball. I've tried writing a letter to the principal, but he hasn't responded yet. I was wondering if the school has the right to deny my daughter the right to join the baseball team? When I was in school, there was an all-boys' baseball team, but they allowed girls who wanted to play baseball to join it, so that's what I'm questioning.
- In Dark FaithLv 51 decade agoFavorite Answer
Oh, I see they just can't let go of those "rules," can they?
I don't know exactly where you live, but we all live in America (you know equal opportunity, etc.). This sort of case has come up many times, with mixed results. There is no denying, though, that without some equivalent sport for the girls, your daughter could have a very strong case. And for gosh sake, who would be hurt? Easy answer there, since NO ONE would be hurt.
If you decide to pursue this through the various channels, be aware that you and especially your daughter could become the objects of considerable media scrutiny and perhaps some individual harassment. In most of the cases I have studied, the local people have been generally supportive with a few exceptions. And do remember, please, that if you pursue this matter, you will be fighting not only for your daughter but also for all who face similar discrimination.
I would suggest that if you can't get a response from the principal, you would schedule an appointment with him and have at least one other adult with you at the meeting--not confrontationally but only for verification of the conversation, though surely the person with you could participate. Take notes--good ones, as every detail could be very important if you need to go further than the school offices. Also, the superintendent and school board might need to be involved.
Do not be surprised if they try delaying tactics to postpone everything beyond the end of the school year. Just do the opposite and make every valid effort to expedite things.
Another great ally, if only for the publicity, would be print and broadcast media..........even the Web can help if done right, but newspapers, radio stations (if you can find one with a community action and news department staffed by actual people instead of electronic, remote feeds) , and TV stations often rise to the occasion for cases just like yours and your daughter's. If you don't get some good progress, you might want to consult an attorney who either has handled cases like this or who has a passion for them--a passion for doing the right thing.
Here are a few articles for your reference. And there are many others.
http://ncronline.org/node/11852 Same case, but this one has a video. Just read down the page to the video, where the story is wrapped around it.
http://joyerickson.wordpress.com/2008/08/27/9-year... This is a little different, as it is about a boy banned from playing because he is too good.....still discrimination, though.
http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/newsstan... Similar to yours, but in this case there is a girls' softball team also. The girl wanted to play on the BASEBALL team.
http://www.la84foundation.org/SportsLibrary/NASSH_... Part of the long history........
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/merseyside/7894... This is from England, and it is a different sport, but it is at least interesting and might offer some valid social context even if its case law is invalid for your situation.
There are indeed many such cases. If you use an attorney he or she will have access and experience with various sources of case law. Even if you don't use an attorney, you can study case law yourself in such sources as American Jurisprudence at the law library in your local courthouse or in a friendly law office.
Well, I guess I'll turn this back to you and your daughter. I wish you perfect success.
- Anonymous5 years ago
They do have a right to deny your daughter the right to play on an all boys team, however, they must offer an equivalent all girls opportunity. A letter to the school addressing that they are not adequately providing your daughter an equal opportunity might help convince the school to do an all girls team.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
I know for lacrosse, the official high school rules state that girls can play on an all boys team in the case that the school does not provide a girls team as well. I am sure this is the same for most school sports, and if they refuse to let her play, you can take this to court. Many femenist lawyers would be outraged by this.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
No they don't. They are being sexist. You should take them to court. This happened quite a while ago but I think you have a valid case.