Student Rights Press Release

08.17.13

School District Allows Female Student to Play Football

ACLU Urges Officials to Adopt Non-Discrimination Policy to Help Prevent Future Unfair Treatment of Students

BALTIMORE, OH—The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio issued the following statement regarding Liberty Union-Thurston Local School District’s decision to allow middle school student Makhaela Jenkins to play football:

“We appreciate that school officials have finally reconsidered their decision to ban Makhaela from the school’s football team. However, we respectfully disagree with officials’ continuing denial that their actions were anything less than unnecessary and illegal. The law remains very clear—as it has for decades,” said ACLU of Ohio Senior Staff Attorney Jennifer Martinez Atzberger. “While we are glad that Makhaela will be able to return to the sport she loves, we urge school officials to ensure all other girls who wish to play contact sports are also able to do so. Officials should be proactive and create a non-discrimination policy to protect all students from the unfair treatment that Makhaela experienced.”