The ACLU of Indiana has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a female Eastern Pulaski School Corporation student who was denied the chance to play football on her school’s football team. The team at Winamac Community Middle School is made up of only males, and when the 7th grader requested to try out for the team, she was denied the chance because, according to school officials, girls were not allowed to join. They encouraged her to try out for volleyball or cross-country.
However, the ACLU said it’s a violation of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and has filed suit against the school in light of that.
Easten Pulaski School Superintendent Dan Foster said the corporation has not yet received a copy of the lawsuit, though they expected to receive it yesterday as it was formally filed Wednesday in South Bend. He is aware of the pending suit, however, and he said the corporation was disappointed that it became a legal matter so quickly.
“First of all, we have not officially received the document yet, so I can’t state a whole lot of specifics; however, I think we were a little disappointed that we didn’t have the opportunity to maybe resolve some issues before it go to that level. I talked with the former superintendent and the parents never addressed that with him, and it never went to the board level, so I think we could have resolved it here at the local level,” said Foster.
On the other hand, Foster said it may not be the parents driving the lawsuit; rather, he said the ACLU could be pushing the matter because of its nature and it’s likely something that can be resolved.
“I’m confident we can come to a pretty good resolution, so we’re going to be very open to meeting and discussing and trying to work things out,” Foster said.
Foster said he has not spoken to the parents because of the lawsuit, but said he will be speaking with the corporation’s legal adviser to determine where to go from here.
“I’ve been judicious, I have not spoken with the parents because of the legalities now. So, we have to be very careful of what we say and how we say it, so when we receive the document, we will get with our local counsel who will advise us in sitting down and how we can meet with the parents. I’m very confident we can find an amicable solution that’s going to be workable for everybody,” said Foster.