ACLU files lawsuit against Winamac school for not allowing girl - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

ACLU files lawsuit against Winamac school for not allowing girl to play football

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A 12-year-old girl in Pulaski County now has the American Civil Liberties Union in Indiana on her side in her fight to be on the 7th grade football team.

The ACLU filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against Winamac Community Middle School after the school principal and Eastern Pulaski Community School Corporation athletic director told the girl and her father, Joseph Button, that she could not play on the 7th grade football team because she is a female. 

The ACLU argues it is a violation the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

The complaint by the ACLU says that the 12-year-old girl is extremely athletic and played on a co-ed basketball team this summer. Her coach on that team suggested that the girl play on a "pee wee" football this fall, but the girl is too old. The coach then suggested that the girl play on the 7th grade tackle football team at Winamac Community Middle School.

The complaint also says, "All students who sign up to play on the seventh grade team become members of the team." After the girl signed up for the team, she was told that she could not join the team because she is a girl. Joseph Button was told that if his daughter wanted to compete in athletics this fall she could participate in either girls volleyball or cross country, although she doesn't want to do either of those.

FOX28's Melanie Yuill is meeting with the mother of another girl who played football in school to share more about the challenges and rewards of playing. We'll have that story later on FOX28 News at 10 and FOX28.com.

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