Superior Court Newark Judge Donald Kessler said that Sydney could not join the boys team because it would disrupt “the status quo.”
There are only 17 seventh graders and the girls team was dismantled. Syd asked to play on the boys team and the school said NO. So her parents sued the Archdiocese of Newark (which runs the athletic programs at St. Theresa).
“We have rules or we don’t,” argued lawyer Chris Westrick. “If we have to break rules for the Phillips family, we have to break rules for everybody.”
Kessler ruled against Sydney, saying that “putting her on the boys’ team would be a change of the status quo,” and create “a circumstance which does not now exist.”
The judge also said the school’s religious status protects it from bias claims under New Jersey’s discrimination laws.
The judge welcomed Sydney’s parents to return to him with more evidence, but the school’s s basketball season ends in February.
“Girls are just as good as boys,” Sydney said, citing a pickup game she won at recess earlier in the day — against a group of boys.
Indeed. Unless you are a judge and religious school bent on never ever changing social or political issues.
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