Judge says school district must let girl wrestle on boys' team

Jan. 14, 2014 at 4:17 PM

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa., Jan. 14 (UPI) -- A 12-year-old Pennsylvania girl can continue wrestling with boys on her middle school's wrestling team, a federal judge has ruled.

U.S. Middle District Judge Matthew W. Braun issued a preliminary injunction against the Line Mountain School District, saying the district had failed to justify its reasons for preventing Audrianna Beattie from wrestling, PennLive.com reported.

In his ruling, Braun rebuffed several of the district's claims about why the seventh grader shouldn't be allowed on the boys' wrestling team.

The judge said the district had failed to show any instances where a female wrestler was injured by a male competitor, and that the possibility of inappropriate contact existed with boys as well as girls, the report said.

He added the district had not supported with any expert testimony its claims the girl could suffer emotional, psychological and moral risks.

Braun ruled that unless Audrianna was allowed to play, she "would suffer irreparable harm in her development as a wrestler because she would miss opportunities to practice and compete."

The board had offered to create a girls' wrestling team if there was sufficient interest.

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