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ACLU sues for Winamac girl who wants to play football

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A northern Indiana girl who was denied the opportunity to try out for her middle school’s football team has filed a gender-equality lawsuit in federal court.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana sued on behalf of the 12-year-old Winamac Community Middle School student, claiming that no boy who wants to play is turned away, but that the girl, C.B., was told to try out for volleyball or cross country instead.

C.B.’s father, Joseph Button, asked the school’s principal and athletic director if C.B. could try out and was told girls weren’t allowed to join the team, according to a statement from ACLU. Denying C.B. an opportunity to try out for football solely based on her gender violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, ACLU argues.

“Numerous courts have recognized that gender is not a valid excuse for keeping young women out of previously all-male sports. Equal protection demands equality of treatment,” ACLU-Indiana legal director Ken Falk said in a statement.

The complaint filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend division, seeks a declaration that the school’s actions are unconstitutional, an injunction that would allow C.B to play on the team, plus attorney fees and other relief. The case is C.B. v. Eastern Pulaski Community School Corporation, 3-13-cv-901-TLS.
 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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